Fundacion MAPFRE, Madrid

Fundación MAPFRE, Bárbara de Braganza, 13
28004 Madrid

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press release

Fundación MAPFRE presents the first exhibition in Spain on the work of Lewis Baltz, as well the first international retrospective to take place since his death in 2014.

Lewis Baltz (Newport Beach, California, 1945−Paris, 2014) is one of the most important photographers of the second half of the 20th century. His work has traditionally been associated with the New Topographics movement, presented in 1975 by the George Eastman House (Rochester, New York) in the exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape, and seminal to the development of conceptual photography.

Baltz’s unique pictures are strikingly cool and emotionless, appearing technical, thin, and almost immaterial. With his use of this visual medium and his stance as a critical, conceptual photographer and artist, he created what we might call a new photographic image of the United States in the latter half of the twentieth century. In an abrupt about-turn, he revealed not pristine, sacred American nature, but the suburbs proliferating out of the cities; the landscape as increasingly occupied territory.

The exhibition includes around 400 works and presents the entire range of Lewis Baltz's work, from his first photographic series in black and white taken in the 60s and 70s such as The Prototypes Works, The Tract Houses and The New Industrial Parks near Irvine, California, up to the work in color and the exploration of new artistic languages of his later years like Ronde de Nuit, The Deaths in Newport and Venezia Marghera.

The exhibition is organized by Fundación MAPFRE.