Robert Capa was recognised early on in his career as the world’s foremost war photojournalist: his coverage of the Spanish civil War earned him his first touch of fame and his photos of World War II, especially the Normandy Invasion, became some of the most outstanding depictions of war. Born Friedmann Endre Ernő in 1913 in a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary, he assumed the name Robert Capa in the 1930s in Paris to avoid discrimination. His untimely death at the age of 40, in 1954, after stepping on a land mine while on assignment as he was covering the Indochina War, helped elevate his posthumous reputation as the ultimate indomitable photojournalist.
Now, more than 100 photos from Capa’s journeys through Morocco, Indochina, Israel and Japan, among other places, along with unconventional portraits of actors, snapshots of fashionable ski resorts frequented by royalty and the glamorous jet set of the time, in addition to a wealth of publications and personal documents are on display at the Casa Nacional del Bicentenario until January of 2018.
The newly-opened exhibition offers a captivating glimpse into Capa’s less-known colour work: some of these images were published at the time in magazines, but most of them have never been printed, displayed or even studied. As curator Cynthia Young says, this aspect of Capa’s work had virtually been forgotten over the years.
Capa in Color shows how he explored colour film and how his work progressed to a new postwar sensibility. Although Capa used colour in his early World War II coverage, his use of colour film thrived mostly in his postwar stories, in images that brought to the fore the lives of ordinary and exotic people from around the world, and which acutely diverged from the war reportages that had dominated his early career. He also photographed many great actors of the time, some of whom were friends of his, including Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, John Huston and Orson Welles, among others.
WHEN AND WHERE. Until January 7, 2018, at Casa Nacional del Bicentenario (riobamba 985). Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, from 1pm to 9pm. Free admission.