Our pick of the key stories from the past week, including interviews with World Press Photo-nominated photographers, details of Bangladesh’s Chobi Mela festival, plus Piero Percoco on his wildly successful Instagram The Rainbow is Underestimated
“People always ask me why I stopped photographing people,” says Anthony Hernandez, who in the mid-1980s, moved away from the black-and-white street photographs that had made his name. He was 17 years into his career and an artist in residence at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, when he made the shift; initially thinking to photograph the infamous strip, he ended up travelling into the desert and making pictures of the left-over target shooter debris for what was to become a pivotal project, Shooting Sites. What Hernandez didn’t realise till many years later was that this shift was unconsciously connected to what he calls his first ever “photographic gesture” at 17 years old. It was an image, which is now sadly lost, of an empty lot strewn with rusting car parts and overgrown weeds. “You might say that the 35mm street photographs were the start of my career. Yes, I did do those, but the real beginning was that empty lot,” he says. “Why I was attracted to that, I don’t know.” Hernandez was born in Los …
As of 2019, Nadia Arroyo will be the new cultural director at Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid. She will be replacing Pablo Jiménez Burillo, who announced at a press meeting last week that he would be retiring after 30 years and over 500 curated exhibitions at the museum.
Jiménez was the first to bring a permanent exhibition space for photography to the museum, and championed the once-undervalued world of nineteenth century Spanish painting, bringing the gallery to the forefront of the art world in Spain. Arroyo is currently Head of Exhibitions at the Fundación MAPFRE.
It would be an understatement to say that the legacy of Gyula Halász – better known by his pseudonym, Brassaï – has been the object of extensive research and countless curatorial projects. Yet the Fundación Mapfre, the private institution that has shown the highest devotion to photography in Spain, has entrusted Peter Galassi, the former chief curator of photography at Museum of Modern Art, to conduct what will probably be the definitive exhibition about the Hungarian-French photographer at its Barcelona gallery, the Garriga i Nogués exhibition hall (19 February to 13 May). The exhibition could be considered to be Galassi’s biggest curatorial endeavour so far since he retired from MoMA, and the catalogue, published by Fundación Mapfre, can attest to the pertinence of this major survey of Brassaï.
Vanessa Winship’s biggest UK show to date, the first UK retrospective of Dorothea Lange, and a huge group exhibition including work by photographers such as Mary Ellen Mark, Dayanita Singh, Alec Soth, Chris Steele-Perkins, Daido Moriyama, Diane Arbus, Pieter Hugo, Bruce Davidson, and Boris Mikhailov – they’re all coming up this year at London’s Barbican Centre, in a season titled The Art of Change.