PhotoEspaa: where glamour meets grit in pictures

The work of nearly 300 photographers and visual artists is on display at venues across Madrid and six other cities for this years festival


  • Ijewo by Cristina de Middel, from the This is what hatred did series, 2015. Exhibited in Sin Fronteras at the Palacio de la Magdalena

PhotoEspana, Madrids annual celebration of photography, offers an extensive programme of exhibitions to suit all tastes. The work of established figures such William Klein, Berenice Abbott, and Manuel lvarez Bravo is on display alongside shows introducing young, emerging European photographers. The subjects of the exhibitions are equally diverse, ranging from rare Soviet photobooks to snapshots bought on eBay, from collective projects decades in the making to solo undertakings completed in months.


  • USSR in Construction magazine, from the exhibition Avant-garde and Propaganda, Russian Books and Magazines from the Archivo Lafuente 1913-1941 at Crculo de Bellas Artes.


  • Portraits by Diana Markosian await the hang at Casa de America


  • International Womens Day march, Madrid, 2019 by Donna Ferrato. From the exhibition Holy at Crculo de Bellas Artes

Among the many highlights is a comprehensive overview of photography projects by Stephen Shore, Josef Koudelka, Lewis Baltz, Sophie Ristelhueber and Raymond Depardon, who were officially commissioned to chart the changing landscapes of Europe from the early 1980s to the present day. Two exhibitions celebrate Donna Ferratos tireless work in combating domestic abuse. And the late Leila Alaouis sympathetic portraits of The Moroccans are displayed to sober effect at Casa rabe.


  • From the series Like by Eduardo Nave, at Galera Juan Sili


  • We are here, Seclin, 2001, from the series Lille Metropolis by Ralph Hinterkeuser, at Museo Ico


  • Esauira, 2012 by Leila Alaoui from The Moroccans at Casa rabe

At the heart of the festival are five exhibitions of art photography, gathered under the heading deja vu because of their dependence on antecedent traditions, ideas and works, which reflect on the current nature, limits and possibilities of the medium. Elina Brotherus, for example, produces work that engages with the legacy of conceptual art of the 1960s and 70s. Clare Strand makes painted versions of tabloid photographs. Patrick Pound and Dlio Jasse reinterpret archival material to radically different ends. Laura Letinsky and Sharon Core use the still life as a means of raising questions about genre, tradition and reproduction.


  • Untitled 49 (detail) by Laura Letinksy, from the series Ill Form and Void Full, 2013 at Museo Nacional del Romanticismo



  • The Discrete Channel with Noise: Information Source #7, 2018 by Clare Strand, at Fernn Gmez Centro Cultural de la Villa; 1828 (from the series 1606-1907) 2012 by Sharon Core at Museo Nacional del Romanticismo

Six to see

William Klein