The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía unveils the photographic work of architect José Manuel Aizpúrua (San Sebastian, 1902-1936). Despite his short life, Aizpurua is one of the most representative figures of Spanish architecture in the interwar period. A good example of his work is the building of the Real Club Náutico de San Sebastián (1928), considered one of the few good examples of the rationalist movement in Spain and which has been studied from its construction until the present.
Aizpurúa starts studying at the School of Architecture of Madrid in 1921. During his last years at the university he frequents the Residencia de Estudiantes, where he meets Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí and Federico García Lorca, whose friendships he maintains until the end of his days. In 1928, the architect opens his studio in San Sebastian and from then onwards his creative activity is frenetic. Aizpurúa does not limit his creations to building design but, as an exemplary member of the avant-garde from the Thirties, is involved in activities that are unconventional for architects of the era, such as advertising signs, design and furniture production, conferences or painting and sculpture exhibitions.
Aizpurúa’s photographs published in La Gaceta Literaria Magazine or A.C. attest to his importance in this field, as does his photograph Naturaleza muerta pero con espíritu vital. Published in 1931, in this famous image Aizpurúa shows a new perspective on the classic theme of still life that has been admired to the point of mythification, due also to the fact that few vintage photographs by the artist remained. Copies of Aizpurúa era are cult items for historians, critics and collectors, so the recent discovery of a set of over one thousand negatives, is of find of great magnitude because of both its volume and quality. From this set we have selected a hundred photographs, taken with a Leica camera between 1928 and 1936, they will be displayed for the first time in this exhibition at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
The collection of photos are like Aizpurua’s visual diary, where in addition to displaying his own reasons for avant-garde photography, we can see a change in the author's concerns during these turbulent years in Spanish history. The exhibition is supplemented by documentary material and several vintage prints which were published in magazines at the time.
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