Friday, October 12, 2007


There's an amazing exhibit going on at ICP (International Center of Photography) through January 6, 2008 surrounding photography and print culture during the Spanish Civil War.

Our history books (ours being American) tend to overlook the importance of the Spanish Civil War. Due to the Civil War and Franco's coup of Spain, Spain was ultimately excluded from World War II. The Spanish Civil War, though only three years long (1936-1939) was multi-faceted and had a very severe and lengthy impression on Spain (as I've mentioned before, the country is still dealing with certain issues that have strong ties to the Spanish Civil War). Spanish poster art from this time period is some of my favorite (maybe rivaled only by Bolshevik poster art). Every side (and there were MANY: anarcho-syndicalists, carlistas, franquistas, republicanos, socialistas, and everything & anything in between) was quite vocal in terms of being represented, especially through propaganda.

Here's an example of communist poster art:


Workers, Countrymen, Soldiers, Intellectuals, Strengthen the ranks of the Communist Party!

Translator's note: I added the exclamation point for emphasis.


Link to the International Center of Photography's webpage

Link to Other Weapons

Text from webpage:

The posters of the Spanish Civil War have become the emblematic visual sign of a national conflict that became international from 1936-1939. Described as "shouts from the wall," the vibrancy of the color and design of the posters, and the messages they sent, signaled for many the powerful role that propaganda played in creating an image of war that was used in Spain and exported actively. Along with the wall-papering of the posters, was the publication in Spain of hundreds of magazines. Considering their impact at the time, it is surprising that they have been virtually unexamined by art historians.

Other Weapons presents a survey of these magazines showing the diversity and inter-relationships among the original magazines, posters, vintage photographs, and archival documents from libraries and archives in Spain and the United States. The exhibition is curated by art historian Jordana Mendelson, Visiting Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, New York University.

Also of interest, Robert Capa has an exhibit at ICP as well running until January 6th.


K said...

I would argue that the Spanish Civil War was the last great and brave war. I don't know why.

Stephanie said...

did you go to this yet?? i wanna go!