Exhibitions Hall

Humberto Rivas: creative process

Exposició Humberto Rivas

Humberto Rivas: creative process
Originals, notes, contact sheets, tests and models.

Since his arrival to Barcelona in 1976, Humberto Rivas has been the spokesman of a generation of photographers interested in transcending the documentary idea of photography proposing the idea of photography as a work of creation, capable of manifesting the personal expression of its author. His idea of the photographer as a creator helped to impulse a new cycle for Spanish photography, which elevated photography to the level of art. Over three decades, Rivas consolidated a big body of vast and coherent work which made him win awards like the ‘Premio Artes Plásticas Ciudad de Barcelona’ in 1996, the National Photography Award in 1997 or the Konex Award of Plastic Arts in Argentina.

Nowadays his pictures are part of prestigious collections like the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the Nacional Museum of Art of Catalonia or the Museum of Modern Art of New York (among others). This is the first time these original pieces of Humberto Rivas’ most famous works see the light. This is a completely new exhibition which allows the audience to visualize the creative process of an artist who worked on analogue photography from a technique knowledge perspective.

In addition to the exhumation of archive material, this exhibit explores two fundamental aspects of Rivas’s work in order to interpret it. The first one is the way in which the different themes interconnect (still life, portrait and landscape) because of the geometric precision of the compositions. In the words of Nelly Schnaith: « by force of visual rigor, it forces, so to speak, reality to deny itself and appear unreal». Rivas brings his motives to a dismal and desolated place in which he experiments the great force of his inner world.

The second essential objective of this exhibit is to show the way in which Rivas departed from photography and universal art (obviously influenced by Edward Weston and his Peppers series (1930) in the case of still lives and by Francisco de Zurbarán in the case of portraits) to later star much more personal explorations. He ended up making compositions that include diverse pictures in which the artist explored dislocation, not only of what he poses as a portrait, but, and above all, of the things he shows us as human: something fragmented, fragile and stripped of the things that materially (and immaterially) cover him.

José A. Aristizábal.

From January 29th to March 6th of 2020
Hours: from Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 19 p.m. / Friday: from de 10 a.m. to 15 p.m.
Exhibition Hall UAB (Communication and Newspaper and Periodicals Library, Cívica Square)

Virtual exhibition