Shortlisted for Paris Photo-Aperture Photography Catalogue of the Year Award 2014
Photobooks: Spain 1905–1977 is a study of the photobooks published in Spain during the twentieth century. The volume deals in detail with thirty photobooks, illustrated with numerous photographs, and offers an overview of some one hundred others in the introductory text. It constitutes a new and surprising chapter in the new history of photography being written in recent years through the rediscovery of the photobook.
One of the subjects addressed in Photobooks is propaganda, especially in the photobooks produced on both sides during the Spanish Civil War. Also of special interest are some of the books published in the 1970s, toward the end of the Franco years.
Another main focus of the volume is literary works accompanied by series of photographs, of which there are examples from early in the century, though the most important works of this type were published in the 1960s as part of the Palabra e Imagen collection.
Finally, several of the photobooks studied here reflect the social transformations that took place in Spain during the twentieth century, including subjects such as traditional trades, métiers, and rituals, the role of women, and the relations between rural and urban Spain. This volume collects the work of not only well-known photographers such as José Ortiz Echagüe, Alfonso, Francesc Català-Roca, Ramón Masats, Xavier Miserachs, Francisco Ontañón and Colita, but also relatively unknown figures, such as Antonio Cánovas, the collective work of Misiones Pedagógicas (Teaching Missions), José Compte, Enrique Palazuelo, Luis Acosta Moro and Salvador Costa. Horacio Fernández explains the cultural significance of these artists' works and further delves into the complex relationship between the Spanish photo book and literature.