A year ago, KBr opened a line of exhibitions aimed at Catalan photography. The starting point was given by the collection of daguerreotypes of the IDRC of Girona, and with it the brand new photography center of the Olympic Village reminded us of the possibilities when it comes to exhibiting the local photographic heritage. expensive to see for a few years, if we leave aside the stone that always crushes the Photographic Archive of Barcelona.
Now it's Adolf Mas's turn. Els ulls de Barcelona , the second exhibition of this annual roadmap and which offers the public a new perspective on a photographer already widely recognized and also classified, especially among specialists. This is a thesis presentation in the literal sense of the word. Its curator, Carmen Perrotta, received her doctorate four years ago at the University of Barcelona precisely with research dedicated to the figure and trajectory of this entrepreneur born in Solsona (1860) but settled in Barcelona at the end of the 19th century. , precisely in the beginnings of modern photography and the emergence of the new urban culture.
The exhibition is detailed and reveals different facets of Adolf Mas. It does so beyond the closed story around the Mas Archive, the monumental photographic inventory of Hispanic art that soared to life and that over the decades has become a first-rate documentary legacy for scholars from all over the world. world. Today this archive is preserved in the Amatller Institute of Hispanic Art, an entity that collaborates with the exhibition thanks to the loan of images and objects. Undoubtedly, the archive was his great professional project thanks to which he and his collaborators documented a huge volume of architectural and artistic heritage of Spain, initially pushed by Lluís Domènech i Montaner and Josep Puig i Cadafalch and the discoveries of the early Romanesque century. But the meaning of the exhibition is to show the multiplicity of the photographer, in the fields of portraiture, photography of views, commissioned reports, artistic photography and the emerging photojournalism in a Barcelona then in full swing. These are a series of genres that are concomitant with the eclectic and still unspecialized development of photography in the early 1900s, in the swing between notions and visual references of the fine arts and graphic arts, but also of the new language of the chronicle. and photographic instantaneity. The images of Ramon Casas, Santiago Rusiñol and Josep Llimona, among other artists, and the double portrait with the photographer Pau Audouard, corroborate Mas's ability to place himself in the middle of these languages, as well as social circles. most prominent in both the field of art and photography.
Image: Adolf Mas. Games. Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes , 1906. © Fundació Institut Amatller d'Art Hispànic.