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New Robert Capa exhibit shows life beyond the adventure

'Robert Capa, in color' in Lleida shows variety of themes other than iconic black and white war and adventure shots

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28 September 2018 03:48 PM

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ACN | Lleida

Robert Capa is widely regarded as one of the most iconic war photographers. But what about what lay behind and beyond the complicated, visceral photos? Starting Thursday until January 27, visitors can discover this unseen side of the photojournalist, in a new exhibit in the western town of Lleida – one that shows his extraordinary life.

Gardner, Capote, Steinbeck, and more

The exhibit, called 'Robert Capa, in color' was put on with the collaboration of the International Center of Photography in New York (ICP), and it collects portraits of names like Pablo Picasso, Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck – with their children and family members, posing, or natural.

Published in lifestyle and travel magazines in their day, many of the pieces – now visible at the Lleida Caixaforum space – are being shown for the first time.

A transition into color

This is in part due to the very nature of the photos, being that they are in color. Indeed, Capa is primarily known for his work in black and white – and his transition into color also signaled a move into a leisure postwar period.

As ICP official and exhibit curator Cynthia Young expressed, "It's really fascinating to see this period of time in color, through Capa's eyes, that always had a very poignant and very human vision of the stories he covered.  

An extraordinary life

Robert Capa, born Endre Friedmann in Hungary, lived from 1913 to 1954. After fleeing his home country, he moved to Berlin – where he witnessed the rise of Hitler – and then to Paris. He was partner to the trailblazing war photographer Gerda Taro.

Before Capa died on the battlefield at the young age of 40, he had covered five wars, and his friends and colleagues included Ernest Hemingway, Irwin Shaw, John Steinbeck and director John Huston.

During his lifetime, he also founded the prestigious Magnum photos collective in 1947. The same year, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom by Eisenhower for his work during World War II, including D Day in Normandy. 

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  • Actress Ava Gardner in a photo by Robert Capa at the CaixaForum on September 27 2018 (by Laura Alcalde)

  • Actress Ava Gardner in a photo by Robert Capa at the CaixaForum on September 27 2018 (by Laura Alcalde)