Manel Armengol

Biography

MANEL ARMENGOL

Badalona, Spain, 1949

 

Manel Armengol studied journalism at the CIC Barcelona and worked as such in various media until 1976, year in which he focused entirely on photojournalism.

It was in that same year, in the midst of the political transition from Francoism to democracy, when he took the famous photographic report about the police charge against the peaceful demonstration organized by the Assembly of Catalonia on February 1st, 1976; photographs which were published in newspapers and magazines from the United States and Europe (Paris-Match, The New York Times, Newsweek, Le Nouvel Observateur, News Reporter, Der Spiegel, etc.) and thanks to which Armengol was awarded the National Prize of Photography by the Flash-Foto Magazine, and which are currently part of the collection of the National Museum of Art of Catalonia.

During the period from 1976 to 1979, Manel Armengol was recognized as a prestigious photojournalist, being a special envoy for various media in Eastern, American and North African countries. Popular environments, street scenes or images of people’s daily life, which are mixed with violent and energetic images of demonstrations, riots and radical social changes of the moment, were the results of that period. That’s why his work is of great importance for the understanding of most contemporary society, the chronicle of a moment that marked the beginning of a new historical stage.

At the beginning of the 80s, a serious accident forced him to withdraw from current journalistic activity, initiating an exploration of long exposure night photographs; evoking the mystical and philosophical impact on which plunged into the convalescent stage of his accident. Later, at the beginning of the 90s (although digital photography had already spread) he returned to the use of black and white analog film to get closer to nature through series such as Elements, Terrae, and Herbarium, a theme that he will continue developing over almost three decades.

Intermittently, he also combined his activity as a photographer with teaching at the Pompeu Fabra University and the Autonomous University of Barcelona. His works has been exhibited in Spanish cities such as Madrid, Barcelona or Valencia, but also in cities of Germany, France, Venezuela or Japan, and is part of international public and private collections such as Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid), Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (Barcelona), BES Arte, Fundació Banco Spiritu Santo (Lisboa), DLK Collection (New York), Itoh Collection (Tokio), Taniguchi Collection (Tokio), MACBA (Barcelona) or Fotocolectania Foundation (Barcelona).

Among the numerous publications made, it is worth noting: The Garden of Warriors from 1987, Voices of water, Memories of Winds from 2001 and Herbarium from 2007.