From the Inside Flap
Robert Capa's Photographs of the Spanish Civil War
From the Collection of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Introductory statements by Esperanza Aguirre Gil de Biedma, Spain's Minister of Education and Culture; José Guirao Cabrera, Director of the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía; and Cornell Capa
Essays by Juan P. Fusi Aizpúrua, Richard Whelan, and Catherine Coleman
Heart of Spain is the first volume to be devoted entirely to the finest of Robert Capa's photographs from the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and features many never-before-published images, including selections from Capa's long-lost contact sheets.
When the British Picture Post first presented selections of this work in 1938, they deemed his images "simply the finest pictures of front-line action ever taken," adding that "Robert Capa ... likes working in Spain better than anywhere in the world. He is a passionate democrat and loves to take photographs."
Many knew Capa for the powerful photograph of the death of a Spanish militiaman, which shocked the world with its intimacy and drama. Capa personalized the struggle of the Spanish loyalists, illuminated the strength and courage of the soldiers who carried on against insufferable odds, and galvanized compassion for the innocent and injured. John Steinbeck praised him for his ability to "show the horror of a whole people in the face of a child."
In the midst of the turmoil and tragedy of war, Capa fell in love with Spain. His experiences there would prove vitally important-- not only to his career, but to his personal life as well. As his brother Cornell recalls in his essay, "Bob went to Spain with a German refugee named Gerda Taro. They were young, in love with each other, and idealistic. Their weapons were their cameras, which they used to win international support for the Republican cause. Tragically, Gerda was killed at Brunete in July 1937, and Bob never fully recovered from his grief. Although at first he could not bear to return to the war that had killed the woman he loved, his great love for the Spanish people soon drew him back to document their struggle to the end."
In addition to over one hundred duotone images by Capa, Heart of Spain also features rare photographs by Gerda Taro, and three compelling essays that place Robert Capa's photographs within their cultural and historical milieu. Juan P. Fusi Aizpúrua draws our attention to the intellectual climate of an era when artists and writers still dared to consider their labor revolutionary. Using Capa's photographs as a starting point, Catherine Coleman, curator of photographs at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, examines the radical social changes that took place in women's lives during the war. Richard Whelan, Capa's biographer, elaborates on the photographer's travels in Spain and on the creation of a body of work that would prove seminal in the development of Capa's photographic career.
Heart of Spain accompanied the exhibition Capa: Cara a Cara (Capa: Face to Face) organized by the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain: February 2-April 5, 1999.