SOURCE: Americas Society/Council of the Americas

Americas Society/Council of the Americas

August 16, 2016 15:45 ET

Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press

On View at Americas Society, September 13 Through December 17, 2016; Curators Michel Otayek and Christina L. De León; Press Preview and Reception: Tuesday, September 13, 5:00 p.m.

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - August 16, 2016) - Renowned for her innovative images documenting Mexico City's urban expansion and vibrant cultural scene, Kati Horna (Budapest, 1912 - Mexico City, 2000) was already a widely published photographer of the Spanish Civil War when she arrived in Mexico at the end of 1939. Her prolific career will be the focus of the exhibition Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press on view at the Americas Society Art Gallery from September 13 to December 17, 2016. Curated by Michel Otayek and Christina L. De León, the exhibition is the first solo show in the United States to examine Horna's influential collaboration with the illustrated press. Featuring Horna's photographs displayed alongside the newspapers and magazines that put them in circulation, the exhibition will comprise some never-before-seen materials including contact sheets, montage cuttings, and personal albums. A press preview and reception will be held at the Americas Society Art Gallery in New York City on Tuesday, September 13, at 5:00 p.m. R.S.V.P.: mediarelations@as-coa.org.

Born in Budapest to a wealthy Jewish family, Horna (née Katalin Deutsch Blau) settled in Berlin in the early 1930s and became part of a group of activists, artists, and intellectuals close to the dissident Marxist theoretician Karl Korsch and the dramatist Bertolt Brecht. At a time in which photojournalism was emerging as a phenomenon of mass culture, Horna was able to seize upon the field's opportunities for professional, aesthetic, and political engagement. In 1933, forced to flee Germany due to the rise of National Socialism, she briefly returned to Budapest where she studied photography with József Pécsi. She then moved to Paris, living there until she left for Barcelona a few months after the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the military uprising against the Spanish Republican government, the exhibition explores Horna's work as a photographer and photomonteur engaged in the construction of a forceful anarchist narrative. At age 24 she became one of the few women to photograph the frontlines of war. Her images appeared in a wide range of propaganda materials including brochures, newspapers, and wide-circulation magazines like Umbral, an anarchist weekly where she held the position of lead photographer and graphic director.

"This exhibition demonstrates that in order to grasp some of the subtleties and complexities of Horna's mature work in Mexico it is crucial to consider the depth of her intellectual upbringing, the extent of her political radicalization as a young artist, and the true nature of her involvement with the anarchist fringe of the Spanish Civil War," says curator Christina De León.

In 1939, following the war's end, Horna and her husband -- Spanish artist José Horna -- settled in Mexico City, where she began collaborating with the country's illustrated press. Registering the city's rapid transformation and cultural landscape in the mid-twentieth century, Horna's photos appeared on the pages of magazines such as Nosotros, Arquitectura México, and Mujeres: Expresión Femenina. In Mexico, she was active in several artistic and intellectual circles. This included her friendships with Leonora Carrington and Remedios Varo, as well as her association with Mathias Goeritz, a seldom-recognized connection that proved to be one of the most fruitful partnerships of her career.

"Horna conceived much of her work as series for the illustrated press, some of them with a powerful narrative impulse," says curator Michel Otayek. "We want to invite viewers to consider the circulation of Horna's images in a wide range of print materials and get a sense of her intellectual sophistication, understated sense of humor, and fondness for collaborative work."

In the 1960s, Horna produced a remarkable body of deeply personal work, some of it as photo stories for magazines such as the avant-garde publication S.nob. Related to issues of gender, transience, and desire, these stories testify to Horna's creative flourishing as a mature artist in exile. Parallel to these projects, Horna also undertook numerous assignments of architectural photography during this period. Her arresting formalist photographs of landmark modern Mexican architecture as in Ricardo Legorreta's Automex factory in Toluca reflect Horna's interest in pure form, a time she later remembered as the creative pinnacle of her life. In later years, Horna concentrated on her work as a teacher at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Universidad Iberoamericana, serving as a mentor to numerous young photographers, including Flor Garduño, Victor Monroy, Estanislao Ortíz, and Sergio Carlos Rey.

Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press will be accompanied by a hardcover, fully illustrated catalogue with contributions by Miriam Margarita Basilio, Christina L. De León, Andrea Geyer, Ana María Norah Horna y Fernández, Cristóbal Andrés Jácome, Michel Otayek, Maria Antonella Pelizzari, and Gabriela Rangel.

Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press is presented by Americas Society in collaboration with Archivo Privado de Fotografía y Gráfica Kati y José Horna, S.C.

The exhibition is made possible by the generous support of PHILLIPS, lead sponsor of Americas Society's Visual Arts Program, and by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

Additional support is provided by Genomma Lab Internacional, Mex-Am Cultural Foundation, the Smart Family Foundation, the Consulate General of Spain in New York, the David Berg Foundation, as well as AMEXCID, the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York, and Aeroméxico.

Image Credit: Kati Horna, El iluminado, 1944, Gelatin silver print. Private collection, Mexico City. © 2005 Ana María Norah Horna y Fernández.

PUBLIC PROGRAMS

ON VIEW
September 13 - December 17, 2016
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
New York, NY 10065
Gallery hours:
Wednesday to Saturday
12:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Free admission

PRESS PREVIEW
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Exhibition curators Michel Otayek and Christina De León will host the media and be available for interviews.
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
New York, NY 10065

GENERAL OPENING
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
New York, NY 10065
Free admission

NORAH HORNA IN CONVERSATION WITH GABRIELA RANGEL
Friday, September 16, 2016
6:30 p.m.
At this event Norah Horna, director of the Archivo Privado de Fotografía y Gráfica Kati y José Horna, will speak with Gabriela Rangel, director and chief curator of Visual Arts at Americas Society, about her mother's work as a photographer and her role as custodian of her legacy.
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
New York, NY 10065
Admission: Free for Americas Society members, $10 for non-members. Free for Hunter College students (please bring your student ID).

EXHIBITION TOUR WITH CURATORS MICHEL OTAYEK AND CHRISTINA L. DE LEÓN
Thursday, October 13, and Thursday, November 3, 2016
6:30 - 8:30 p.m.
The curators of Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press will lead a tour of the exhibition.
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue at 68th Street
New York, NY 10065
Admission: Free for Americas Society members, $10 for non-members. Free for Hunter College students (please bring your student ID).

PANEL DISCUSSION: "KATI HORNA AND WOMEN PHOTOGRAPHERS IN EXILE"
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
New York University's Institute of Fine Arts will co-host a panel discussion with Americas Society on Kati Horna's photographic practice and the work of other female photographers from the perspective of mobility and exile.
Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
1 E 78th Street
New York, NY 10075
Free Admission

TOUR GUIADO EN ESPAÑOL
Martes 6 de diciembre, 2016
7:00 p.m.
Tour en español de Told and Untold: The Photo Stories of Kati Horna in the Illustrated Press, guiado por Gabriela Rangel, directora y curadora del Departamento de Artes Visuales, y Veronica Flom, coordinadora de Programas Públicos de Americas Society.
Americas Society
680 Park Avenue en la calle 68
Nueva York, NY 10065
Admisión: Gratis para miembros de Americas Society, $10 para no miembros. Gratis para estudiantes de Hunter College (por favor traer su tarjeta de identificación).

Americas Society is the premier organization dedicated to education, debate and dialogue in the Americas. Established by David Rockefeller in 1965, our mission is to foster an understanding of the contemporary political, social and economic issues confronting Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage of the Americas and the importance of the inter-American relationship.

The following files are available for download:

Contact Information