EXHIBITION “Jose Suarez, 1902-1974. Lively eyes that think” by Jose Suarez
October 11 @ 11:30 am - December 10 @ 9:00 pm
Description- EXHIBITION “José Suárez, 1902-1974. Lively eyes that think” by José Suarez
About the exhibition: The Instituto Cervantes and the Embassy of Spain open their doors on the 11th of October to the largest exhibition ever made on one of the great names of 20th century Spanish photography, José Suárez: an innovative artist who incorporated the European avant-garde movements, an intellectual friend of prominent writers and committed creator who lived in exile for more than two decades. A photographic journey through Spain,
Argentina, Brazil, South Africa, the UK and Japan capturing the 20th century timelessly by one of the most innovative and avant-garde artists, who authored a photographic language and formed friendships with intellectuals and artists like Unamuno, Albertí, and Akira Kurosawa among others. After opening for the first time in Santiago de Compostela in November of 2015, the exhibition has subsequently traveled to the headquarters of the Instituto Cervantes in Madrid, the Borges Cultural Center of Buenos Aires, the Cultural Center of Spain in Montevideo, to Paris, Tokyo, and now here to New Delhi. Including 135 photographs, 111 documents and publications, 7 audiovisual montages and more the exhibition gives an insight into the evolution of the art form of photography itself. The exhibition presents several audiovisual montages (on plasma screens and tablets) and a series of portraits of intellectuals and artists whom he met throughout his life.
The exhibition is organized chronologically following Suárez’s three vital stages. The first, titled The 30’s, takes place between 1930 and 1936 and contains three sections: In the land of Salamanca (where he studies law, acquires a solid formation and relates to prominent intellectuals), Galicia 30s and Mariñeiros. During this period, he created an ethnographic series of great ethnographic interest, produced with great attention to detail on Galician
peasant society and the world of the sea, which became very well-known and came to be exhibited in Madrid and Paris. This work, like the one carried out during the previous decade by the North American photographer Ruth Matilda Anderson, constitutes a valuable approach to visual heritage, with the difference that Anderson’s view is that of an anthropologist, while Suárez’s responds to that of a photographer with a strong aesthetic concern. The second stage, Exile, starts in 1936, when he leaves Spain due to the Civil War. He first installs himself in Argentina and then in Punta del Este (Uruguay); travels throughout Latin America (also by Brazil) and even lives two years in Japan (1953-1954) in search of a new spirituality. The resulting works from this stage of his life are shared in the
sections Snow on the mountain range (The Andes), South America and Japan. The third and final stage, Return, begins in 1959, when Suárez returns to Spain. He photographs La Mancha, on which he said, “I went in search of Don Quixote but found only Sancho Panzas” and found the same misery he had left behind when leaving Spain.
He then makes his second trip to Japan, where he meets Akira Kurosawa during the filming of The Bad Sleep Well and travels throughout Europe as a correspondent for the Argentine newspaper La Prensa. This trajectory is reflected in the sections La Mancha: the route of Don Quixote, Toros, Glyndebourne (Great Britain), Mediterranean and Galicia in the 60s. His return to Spain truncates international recognition and leaves him almost entirely
forgotten. In 1967 he settled in Ourense and stopped taking photographs. He commits suicide in 1974, he had with him the manuscript of the prologue that Unamuno had written for his first book and he bade farewell to life with the following letter:
“To everyone who in a way may be affected by the trouble my death may cause; above all, forgive me for troubling you. I beg to be buried in the cemetery of the city or town of my death, in the most modest possible way, and not accompanied by any type of prayers or rites from any religion. A wooden, unpainted casket and a common grave is all I want. Some friend, when hearing of my death, might listen to Faure’s Requiem to remember me by. A long time ago I became best friends with death, and I am sure that I will greet it without bitterness. Anywhere in the world.”
About the photographer: José Suárez is an absolutely unique photographer within historical Galician photography. His images have very defined characteristics, which can be seen throughout his extensive career as a photographer and are the result of a reflexive and very personal vision that was determined by his rich cultural knowledge. These features endow him with a clear authorship that most historical photographers lack. His entire
life was closely linked to photography. His brother Paco recalls that Suárez’s camera was like another part of his anatomy, stating ‘On the few occasions that I saw him without his camera it seemed as if a part of his body was missing.’ Through the “Revista de Occidente” (a Spanish cultural and scientific publication) he came into contact with the European avant-garde art forms. From them he extracted an innovative photographic language and
formality that gave his work a clear auteur’s character that was lacking in his contemporary professional photographers, more inclined to a costumbrista (traditional and folkloric) vision of society. José Suárez approached reality from the point of view of a documentarian which was not usual at the time. He carried out projects over long dedicated periods of time, like those of Mariñeiros, La Mancha, the Gauchos or the sheepherders in Tierra del
Fuego. His snapshots also reflect his concern for the cultural world that surrounds him: literature, artistic heritage, music, and customs.
Date- 11 October to 10 December
11th October : 6:30 pm – Inauguration
12th October to 10th December :
Tuesday to Friday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Mondays – Closed
Entry : Free
Venue : Instituto Cervantes, 48, Hanuman Road, Connaught Place (CP), New Delhi – 110001