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Humberto Rivas

This retrospective offers the most complete reassessment of his work to date. It will aim to highlight the figure of this key artist for Spanish photography and his significant contribution to the modernisation of its language.

The selection of works on display, numbering more than 180 in addition to archival material, offers a survey of Rivas’s work over the entire course of his career from the 1960s to the year 2005. Rivas was a key figure for the development of photography in Spain from the first half of the 1970s, following his arrival in Barcelona from Argentina. His presence in Spain brought about a regeneration of the medium, contributing to its revised status as a fully accepted artistic language.

The exhibition presents Rivas’s work in a chronological manner and includes loans of vintage prints, the majority from the Archivo Humberto Rivas (Barcelona), as well as from other collections and museums that house his work: MNAC-Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya; IVAM-Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno, Fundació Per Amor a l’Art, MNCARS-Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; Fundación Foto Colectania, and Fundación MAPFRE.

Rivas’s photographic output encompasses both landscapes and portraiture, a category with which he was never, in fact, comfortable and with which he never identified. The creator of a new form of documenting, Rivas’s images aim to capture the mark of time and memory in a restrained, simple style that encourages viewers to reflect and establish a dialogue.

Following its presentation in Madrid, the exhibition will travel to the University of Valencia’s La Nau exhibition space and to Fondation A in Brussels.

The accompanying catalogue includes texts by Valentín Roma, director of La Virreina, Centre de la Imatge in Barcelona, and by the Belgian architect Wim Cuyvers; the republication of Manolo Laguillo’s interview with Rivas originally published in 1991; an extensive biography by Juan Antonio Aristazábal; and a text by the exhibition’s curator Pep Benlloch.


Fundación MAPFRE, Bárbara de Braganza Exhibition Hall
13, Calle Bárbara de Braganza
28004 Madrid | Spain



Humberto Rivas, Maria, 1978. Archivo Humberto Rivas, Barcelona. © Asociación Archivo Humberto Rivas.

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