Magnum Photos | The Mexican Suitcase

Posted: December 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Film, History, Photography

In December 2007, three boxes filled with rolls of film containing 4,500 35mm negatives of the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) taken by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and David Seymour (aka “Chim”)—which had been considered lost since 1939—arrived at the International Center of Photography. These three photographers, who lived in Paris, worked in Spain, and published internationally, laid the foundation for modern war photography. Their work has long been considered some of the most innovative and passionate coverage of the Spanish Civil War. An exhibition of Mexican Suitcase images is on view at the ICP from Sept. 24, 2010, to Jan. 9, 2011.

 

The Mexican Suitcase

The Mexican Suitcase

 

Many of the contact sheets made from the negatives are on view as part of the exhibition, which looks closely at some of the major stories covered by Capa, Taro, and Chim, as interpreted through the individual frames. These images can be seen alongside the magazines of the period in which they were published and with the photographers’ own contact notebooks.

The complete story is available on the ICP site.

 

E BARCARÈS, France—Exiled Republicans being marched on the beach from one internment camp to another area by a French policeman, March 1939.

E BARCARÈS, France—Exiled Republicans being marched on the beach from one internment camp to another area by a French policeman, March 1939.

MADRID—A Republican officer and Gerda Taro in University City, February 1937.

MADRID—A Republican officer and Gerda Taro in University City, February 1937.

TERUEL, Spain—A man carrying a wounded boy, December 1937. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

TERUEL, Spain—A man carrying a wounded boy, December 1937. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

TERUEL, Spain—Ernest Hemingway (third from left), New York Times journalist Herbert Matthews (second from left), and two Republican soldiers, late December 1937. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

TERUEL, Spain—Ernest Hemingway (third from left), New York Times journalist Herbert Matthews (second from left), and two Republican soldiers, late December 1937. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—An outdoor mass for Republican soldiers, near Lekeitio, in the Basque region, January/February 1937. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—An outdoor mass for Republican soldiers, near Lekeitio, in the Basque region, January/February 1937. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

MADRID—Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria), spring/summer 1936. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

MADRID—Dolores Ibárruri (La Pasionaria), spring/summer 1936. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—A mother nursing a baby while listening to a political speech near Badajoz, Extremadura, late April/early May 1936. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—A mother nursing a baby while listening to a political speech near Badajoz, Extremadura, late April/early May 1936. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

MADRID—Two Republican soldiers carrying a crucifix, October/November 1936. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

MADRID—Two Republican soldiers carrying a crucifix, October/November 1936. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

VALENCIA, Spain—Training of the New People’s Army, March 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

VALENCIA, Spain—Training of the New People’s Army, March 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

VALENCIA, Spain—A crowd at the gate of a morgue after an air raid, May 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

VALENCIA, Spain—A crowd at the gate of a morgue after an air raid, May 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

MADRID—Workers fortifying the Plaza de Cibeles, spring 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

MADRID—Workers fortifying the Plaza de Cibeles, spring 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—A Republican soldier on a motorcycle at the Segovia front, in Navacerrada Pass, late May/early June 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—A Republican soldier on a motorcycle at the Segovia front, in Navacerrada Pass, late May/early June 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

MADRID—A woman taking inventory of the paintings in the collection of Las Descalzas Reales with two Republican soldiers, October/November 1936. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

MADRID—A woman taking inventory of the paintings in the collection of Las Descalzas Reales with two Republican soldiers, October/November 1936. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—Republican soldiers on the Segovia front in Navacerrada Pass, May/June 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—Republican soldiers on the Segovia front in Navacerrada Pass, May/June 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

TERUEL, Spain—Republican soldiers in a destroyed building on the lookout for Nationalist soldiers, December 1937. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

TERUEL, Spain—Republican soldiers in a destroyed building on the lookout for Nationalist soldiers, December 1937. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

AMOREBIETA, Spain—Republican soldiers running in the Basque region, 1937. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

AMOREBIETA, Spain—Republican soldiers running in the Basque region, 1937. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

VALENCIA, Spain—Air-raid victims in the morgue, May 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

VALENCIA, Spain—Air-raid victims in the morgue, May 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—Two Republican soldiers with another on a stretcher, in Navacerrada Pass, May/June 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—Two Republican soldiers with another on a stretcher, in Navacerrada Pass, May/June 1937. © Gerda Taro © 2002 by International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—Republican soldiers storming forward in jumps, at Rio Segre, on the Aragon front, near Fraga, Nov. 7, 1938. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—Republican soldiers storming forward in jumps, at Rio Segre, on the Aragon front, near Fraga, Nov. 7, 1938. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—A Republican machine-gunner behind stones, Nov. 7, 1938. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—A Republican machine-gunner behind stones, Nov. 7, 1938. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—Bottles and glasses on a table in the Basque region, January 1937. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

SPAIN—Bottles and glasses on a table in the Basque region, January 1937. © David Seymour / Magnum Photos

BRAM, France—A line of men receiving food in an internment camp for Republican exiles, March 1939. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

BRAM, France—A line of men receiving food in an internment camp for Republican exiles, March 1939. © ROBERT CAPA © 2001 By Cornell Capa / Magnum Photos

PARIS—Photographers Gerda Taro and Robert Capa at the Café du Dôme in Montparnasse, early 1936. © Fred Stein / Magnum Photos

PARIS—Photographers Gerda Taro and Robert Capa at the Café du Dôme in Montparnasse, early 1936. © Fred Stein / Magnum Photos


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André Kertész | His Inspiring and Lasting Influence

Posted: August 30th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Film, Photography, Quotes

André Kértész remains my largest influence when I am behind the camera. It may have been chance that a professor lent me one of his books when I was eighteen but that chance gift was my introduction into the world of photography. Kértész was the first master whose images I studied and I pored over that book for hours. I could have easily been handed a monograph by Arbus or Avedon or Adams. Perhaps my professor knew what she was doing.

I have been following that initial insight and inspiration ever since. Many times I find myself unintentionally copying Kértész on the street.

There is a gentle humanistic quietness, an easy poetry to his images and a seeming raw, amateurish quality that makes his images readily accessible. The incredible perfection of Cartier-Bresson or Salgado can sometimes create a personal distance between the image and the viewer because the flawless, stunning compositions and technique can render an image almost to the level of a graphic, it being so pure of form and idea. The converse is Kértész’s work with its easy homeyness that is flawed and familiar, inviting and intimate, and in the end, deeply personal. The series of images he made of the glass sculpture that reminded him of his departed wife is a subject of heartbreaking vulnerability, a view that few of the masters have ever let us see.

He is considered the grandfather of street photography. The Getty Museum’s Photography Curator, Weston Naef described Kértész as

a little like Christopher Columbus, who discovered a new world that, in the end, was named for someone else.

Cartier-Bresson also said once said of himself, Robert Capa, and Brassaï, that

Whatever we have done, Kertész did first.

He is also credited by Brassaï as being his mentor and the one who encouraged him to document the nights of Paris.

Except for his celebrated period in Paris in the 20′s and 30′s, he has always been tragically under appreciated and oddly looked over especially after his relocation to the United States. Because of this, he is something of a photographer’s photographer, cherished by those who shoot and those who study those who have shot.

I still find myself looking at a proof sheet, wondering about the familiarity of an image I’ve created until I realize that it is my version of a Kértész.

I am an amateur, and I intend to remain an amateur for the rest of my life. The photograph gets its beauty from the very truth with which it is stamped. This is why I guard myself against any kind of professional trickery or virtuosity.

I attribute to photography the task of recording the real nature of things, their interior life. The photographer’s art is a continuous discovery which requires patience and time. A photograph draws its beauty from the truth with which it is marked.

André Kértész, 1930.

We all owe him a great deal.

Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Chez Mondrian

André Kértész, Chez Mondrian, 1926

The Fork

André Kértész, The Fork, 1928

Rainy Day Tokyo

André Kértész, Rainy Day Tokyo, 1968

Café du Dome, 1928

André Kértész, Café du Dome, 1928

martinique

André Kértész, Martinique, 1972

Andre Kertesz Meudon, Paris 1928

André Kértész, Meudon, 1928

Ballet, 1938

André Kértész, Ballet, 1938


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