Programme | Photographers | Spain / Portugal | Dubai Photo Exhibition

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The Artists

Spain / Portugal

Cristina Garcia Rodero

Cristina Garcia Rodero, born in Puertollano, Spain in 1949, became interested in photography as a teenager and shot her first photo essay at age 17. She studied painting at Complutense University, Madrid, before taking up photography. In 1973 she began researching and photographing popular and traditional festivities in rural Spain and Mediterranean Europe. Amongst her many awards, Garcia Rodero has received are a book award from Rencontres d'Arles for España Oculta, 1989; the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanist Photography, 1989; the Spanish National Prize of Photography, 1996; Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society, 1998; the Bartolomé Ros Prize, 2000, and two World Press Photo Awards.

Garcia Rodero has been exhibited around the world, including twice at the Venice Biennale. A member of Vu agency for more than 15 years, she joined Magnum in 2005, becoming full member in 2009.

Cristóbal Hara

Born 1946 in Madrid, Spain, Hara grew up in the Philippines, USA and Germany, returning to Spain age 8. He studied law and business administration in Spain and Germany before deciding in 1969 to become a photographer. Moving to London, he spent a few years there and exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum. Hara switched to colour photography in 1985 and felt free, at last, from the strictures of composition in black and white. Known for his chronicles of rural Spain and her fiestas filtered through the memories of his own childhood. Like with Bill Brandt (in the UK), his ultimate goal is the book, not the exhibition. Vanitas (1998) won the prize for best photography book at PhotoEspaña in 1999. Autobiography, 2007, is the second volume of a trilogy published by Steidl. Recently he has begun a series of so-called 'trivial essays' for Ediciones Anómalas. His photos have also appeared in magazines like Creative Camera, Du, Aperture and others.

Edgar Martins

Martins was born in 1977 in Évora, Portugal, grew up in Macao and moved to the UK in 1996. He studied photography at The University of the Arts, London; and Royal College of Art. His first book, Black Holes and Other Inconsistencies, was awarded the Thames & Hudson and RCA Society Book Art Prize; a selection of images from this book won him The Jerwood Photography Award in 2003.

His work centres on a man-made, technological world and its influence on society and nature. He has been exhibited widely and his series The Diminishing Present was seen at The Empty Quarter, Dubai, in 2009. He is represented in several high-profile collections and is the recipient of many awards He was also selected to represent Macao, China, at the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011.

His first retrospective was held at Centre Culturel Calouste Gulbenkian in Paris, 2010. His project The Poetic Impossibility to Manage the Infinite, developed in partnership with European Space Agency (ESA), was launched at Centro de Arte Moderna/Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, 2014. He lives and works in the UK.

Gérard Castello-Lopes

Born in Vichy, France in 1925, Gérard is the son of a Portuguese father and a French mother. A famous sportsman in his youth, Castello-Lopes became a businessman in the film industry and is self-taught in photography.

He has a degree in Economics and Financial Sciences from the Technical University of Lisbon. From 1956 onwards he concentrated on photography and is now seen as the leading figure of the golden age of Portuguese photography of the 1950s. A follower of Henri Cartier-Bresson, he focused his camera on children and the elderly. In the late 1960s he gave up photography, only to resume it in 1982 when he had his first solo exhibition at the Ether Gallery, Lisbon. His main concerns as a photographer were the 'paradox of appearances', the nature and properties of space and the importance of scale.

He was a founding member of Hot Clube (Jazz) of Portugal and of the Portuguese Centre of Cinema. As a lecturer and essayist he collaborated with many institutions in Portugal and abroad. Several of his photos were used to illustrate book covers across Europe from 1996-2008.

Helena Almeida

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1934, Helena Almeida’s father, Leopoldo de Almeida, was a renowned sculptor. She studied painting at the School of Fine Arts, Lisbon, and obtained a grant to work in Paris, where she came across Lucio Fontana's slashed paintings (the mystery of what is beyond the canvas) in 1964. Almeida had her first solo show of tridimensional paintings at Buchholz Gallery, Lisbon, 1967. Photography became a central element to her work in the 1970s. She began using her own body (self-representation) to explore space in 1969. Photography, painting, drawing and performance come together in her work. Her husband, architect Artur Rosa, is often a collaborator. She represented Portugal at the São Paulo (1979), Venice (1982, 2005) and Sydney (2004) Biennales. She had a retrospective at Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Oporto, 2015, which travels to Paris and Brussels, 2016. Almeida lives and works in Lisbon.

Joan Colom

Joan Colom was born in Barcelona, Spain in 1921. Following his military service, he became an accountant in a firm and became involved in photography at age 36 when he joined Agrupació Fotogràfica de Catalunya. An accountant during the week, he began photographing Barcelona's underworld, especially the Barrio Chino or red-light district of Raval, shooting from the hip with a half-hidden camera.

Colom co-founded El Mussol (The Owl) in 1960, an artists' group that included other photographers such as Jordi Munt. In 1962 his work was seen in Paris alongside that of other Catalan photographers. He exhibited Les gens de Raval at Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris, 2006.

After retirement in 1986 he returned full-time to photography and in the 1990s began to use colour. He was awarded the National Photography Prize in 2002, the Golden Medal for Cultural Merit by the city of Barcelona, the National Visual Arts Prize by the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Creu de Sant Jordi Prize, 2006. In 2011, he donated part of his photographic archive to the National Museum of Art of Catalunya and had his first major exhibition there in 2013.

Jose Luis Neto

Born in Sátão, Portugal in 1966, Jose Luis Neto studied photography and its conservation at Ar.Co (Centre for Art and Visual Communication), Lisbon, and did a project at the Royal College of Art, London. He obtained an MA in Photographic Studies at IADE/Creative University in Lisbon, 2015. He had his first solo exhibition at Gymnásio Gallery, Lisbon, 1993 and was selected as part of the Portuguese representation at the 8th Biennale of Young European and Mediterranean Artists, Torino, Italy, 1997.

His on-going interests include the language, character and limits of photography, as well as the investigation of the photographic matrix and the various processes and devices of capturing light.

His work has been shown regularly at international art fairs and at exhibitions in Brazil, Spain, France, Italy, Slovakia, Finland, Germany and Switzerland.

His work is included in many private and public collections, namely: Centro Português de Fotografia and Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Oporto; Berardo Collection, BESart, CAMJAP – Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian; Fundació Foto Colectania, Barcelona; Folkwang Museum, Essen; amongst others. Neto lives and works in Lisbon.

Joshua Benoliel

Born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1873, Joshua Benoliel became a member of Ginásio Clube Português in 1892. He co-founded the newspaper O Sport in 1894 and, as an amateur photographer, saw his first pictures published and participated in his first group exhibition alongside King Charles I, 1898.

He covered the state visits to Portugal of King Edward VII (Great Britain) and Alfonso XIII (Spain), 1903. The following year he left his job as customs broker to become a professional photographer. Appointed corresponding photographer in Portugal for Spanish daily ABC and French weekly L'Illustration, 1904, he became principal photographer for O Século and Ilustração Portuguesa. Two years later, he published the only pictures of the Republican Revolution, which would be distributed worldwide.

Benoliel was awarded Gold Medals at the National Exhibition of Graphic Arts, Lisbon, 1912 and Leipzig Exhibition of Graphic Arts, 1914. He accompanied President Bernardino Machado on a visit to Portuguese troops in Flanders during World War I, 1918 and was declared ‘king of the photographers and photographer of kings’ by journalist and political activist Rocha Martins. He covered important events in Holland, 1926, and Spain, including the International Exhibitions in Seville and Barcelona, 1929.

He was awarded the Portuguese Order of Santiago de Espada, 1929 and the Spanish Order of Civil Merit (1930). Last pictures for ABC, 1932. Benoliel died in Lisbon in 1932.

Maria Lamas

Born in Torres Novas, Portugal, 1893, Maria Lamas studied for two years at a catholic school in Torres Novas, 1906-08. She married and moved to Angola with her military husband in 1911. After a divorce, she moved to Lisbon in 1919 and married journalist Alfredo Lamas in 1921. Lamas published a poetry book and first novel in 1923. She was appointed director of women's weekly Modas e Bordados, 1930-47, and published several children's books and novels in the 1930s. She was elected president of the National Council of Portuguese Women, 1946. Taught by a son-in-law who worked for Kodak, she took up photography the following year after deciding to travel all over the country to investigate the living and working conditions of Portuguese women.

She lived in Madeira for two years, 1955-57, and later she was arrested several times for her political ideas. She went into exile in Paris in 1962, returning to Portugal seven years later. Lamas became the director of a new women's magazine, Mulheres (Women) in 1978. She was awarded the Order of Freedom by the President of Portugal, 1980. Lamas died in Lisbon in 1983.

Ramón Masats

Born in Caldes de Montbui (Barcelona), Spain, 1931, Ramón Masats became interested in photography by chance while doing military service. He joined the photography club of Casino del Comercio in Tarrasa, and later the Agrupación Fotográfica de Catalonia. His first photo-essay documented Las Ramblas, 1953. He moved to Madrid and co-founded the photo-group La Palangana, 1957 and later worked for Gaceta Ilustrada and other magazines. He received many awards, including the Negtor Prize, 1960 and the Ibarra Prize for best book, Los Sanfermines, 1963.

Masats abandoned photography to dedicate himself to film and TV from 1964-81, during which time he received many more accolades and directed several documentaries for TV, including the feature film Tropical Spanish.

He returned to photography in 1981 and had a solo exhibition at Catalonia Photographic Spring, 1984. He exhibited colour photographs at Ateneo de Madrid in 1986 and held a retrospective exhibition at Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid, 1999. In 2004, he was awarded the National Prize of Photography.

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