Bárbara Mur Borrás
Centro de Arte Alcobendas
Lun-sáb / Mon-Sat:
11.00 h - 20.00 h
Entrada libre / Free admission
Through photography, Ortiz Echagüe found a clear purpose: to immortalise the Spanish tradition from the early 20th century, aware that it might soon begin to disappear because of the gradual modernisation and industrial development which he witnessed firsthand through the two companies he ran.
His photographs span documentary and what was then called artistic photography. He himself hand-developed each picture using the artisan technique of direct carbon printing on Fresson paper, which made each and every one of them unique and unmistakable. This process gave his pictures an appearance closer to an engraving than a photograph by softening the outlines and highlighting the details. This procedure ensconced his work within the photographic trend of pictorialism and made him its leading representative in Spain.
Ortiz Echagüe had enormous visual talent which he harnessed to capture landscapes, the peoples who inhabited them and their attire at popular festivals. He masterfully photographed the folklore of Spain, capturing the most distinctive features of a people and offering the image of a timeless society whose personages and their garb glorify tradition and mark their cultural identity. From the clothing worn for everyday chores to the costumes for special celebrations, he connected photography and the fibre arts.
José Ortiz Echagüe was unquestionably one of the most outstanding figures in Spanish photography, one who shared our country’s customs and image all over the world through his works, pictures of the past which will endure forever.