Fotógrafos históricos españoles



Eugeni Forcano  |  Ramón Masats  |  Ortíz Echagüe Virxilio Vieitez


 On-line catalogue  

About the authors

Eugeni Forcano (Canet de Mar, Barcelona. 1926)

Self-taught, fascinated by the power of the image and the way to capture it, photography has meant for Eugeni Forcano more than a professional dedication, a great passion and a way of understanding and telling life. At a very early age, he reported the local life of Canet de Mar (Barcelona), where he was born and where he mounted his first photographic laboratory. Josep Pla said that “In Forcano´s photographs there is one thing that strikes me, and it is only by looking at them for a moment that one can guess with great accuracy the dialogues that people establish.” Jorge Rueda affirmed of him “that, chasing the lights, he had managed to photograph the sighs”. All his work is endowed with a penetrating, sensitive, passionate and ironic look. In the images, there is a great deal of tenderness, humanity and vitalism and it would seem that, through them, it is possible to catch life on the fly. He has received numerous awards, among others, the National Photography Award in 2012.

ORTIZ ECHAGÜE  (Guadalajara 1886 – Madrid 1980)

José Ortiz Echagüe stands amongst the most recognized names within the photographic world. Considered one out of the three best photographers worldwide by the American Photography magazine in 1935, some critics have even considered him the best Spanish photographer of his time.

Ortiz Echagüe got to show throughout his photographs a very personal way of expression, quite close to the painting techniques, by means of the processes in the dark room. He would develope his own films making use of the charcoal print, a very skilfull, entirely artisan technique, producing as a result a sort of velvet blacks and degradated pigmentary inks.

He registered the patent of the Fresson technique, which he renamed carbondir, as well as the machine needed to produce the required paper for it, a very special one which gives the characteristic hint of Echagüe’s monochrome work.

Ramón Masats (Caldas de Montbui, Barcelona 1931)

In 1957, at the age of 26, Ramón Masats arrives in Madrid to dedicate professionally to photography. Like his countryman Josep Plá almost half a century before, Masats brought from Barcelona echoes of local life and the ancient wisdom of the simple people, made in the habit of sacrifice and uncertainty.

Entrenched in his stubborn stubbornness, he receives the accolades – in recent years he has been accumulating: National Photography Prize, Prize of the Visual Arts of the Community of Madrid, Bartolomé Ros Prize … with indulgent complacency and a certain sardonic rejoicing.

Catalan in Madrid and Madrileño in Catalonia, this citizen of the world who never sought fortune or celebrity, only ambitioned, as his admired Walter Benjamin, glory without fame, greatness without shine and dignity without pay. Although you never know.

(Text by Publio López Mondéjar)

Virxilio Vieitez (Soutelo de Montes, Pontevedra, 1930-2008)

The work of Virxilio Vieitez, recognized as one of the greats of contemporary photography, fits in the tradition of the beginnings of the photographic practice, placing itself somewhere between documentary testimony and art. In his time, Vieitez refused to limit himself to the study photography, the most usual then, throwing himself into the street to give graphic testimony of the daily life and, above all, the transoceanic emigration. This was one of the sources of inspiration for photography, whether it was in the places of destination or, as in the case of Virxilio, in the houses and meeting places of the Galician context. The migratory flows encouraged the sending of photos of those who left and wanted to give news, not only of their arrival, but of their installation in their destination. Relatives, in response, began sending photos of themselves to their emigrant relatives, portraying themselves with the radio or next to imposing cars to show the status reached. Virxilio’s photographs also served to document important events in family life, such as portraits, weddings, or deaths.