Xavier Miserachs Miserachs

02 Apr - 17 Jun 2016


Ana Mas Projects, based in Barcelona, is pleased to present a selection of more than 70 images (original and reproductions) of one of the most famous Spanish photographers of the XX century, Xavier Miserachs (Barcelona, 1937). An outstanding representative of the young and non-conformist generation of the 1950’s/60’s that decided to distance themselves from conventional and academic photography to reclaim a new visual identity. The theorist Josep Maria Casademont labelled this new generation of photographers the New Avant-garde and all of them gathered under the name of Agrupació Fotográfica de Cataluña (AFC) bringing forward to the public a new and very subjective reality. Professionals like Francesc Català-Roca, Oriol Maspons, Leopoldo Pomés and Ramon Massats were part of the AFC, and Miserachs was the youngest member(1) of the group.

Miserachs’s youth coincided with major cultural and historical changes in Spain. Indeed Spain was freeing its chains from the franquist autarchy, the economy was changing and frontiers were opening up to a new outside world. With the end of World War II were born new modes of expression, things were changing fast and it wasn’t any longer about “thinking about what you could one day say, and instead simply speaking in the most efficient way out of pure necessity.”(2).Consequently, photography took under new responsibilities and with that came a new social and humanistic interest for it. It was a key moment for photography, indeed it was when the idea of modern photojournalism as we know it was consolidated(3), and Miserachs found his inspiration from the more prominent photographers of his time, such as Català-Roca, Robert Frank(4) and especially from William Klein. Xavier Miserachs also had the opportunity to attend The Family of Man, one of the most important photographic exhibitions of his time and a turning point in the art world and for Miserachs himself(5). The Family of Man, presented at The MoMA in 1955; and curated by Edward Steichen strengthened and reaffirmed the new vision and purpose of photography; to tell and narrate a story.

In this sense, Xavier Miserachs can be considered a paradigm of his generation, he not only had an extraordinary passion for the photographic art,but also wanted to make a living out of it. This is how he got the amazing opportunity to make his passion for the medium become his work as a correspondent for well known media such as La Vanguardia, Gaceta Ilustrada, Intervíu and Triunfo. At the same time, Miserachs started to participate in numerous group shows with other photographers like Ricard Terré or Ramon Massats(6) and started to work on publications such as Barcelona Blanco y Negro (1964) if we had to name just one. This publication is extremely important in Miserachs’s career, considering the fact that he was still a young man at the time of publication, Barcelona Blanco y Negro represents the acknowledgment of Barcelona as a city by its own citizens (7), and Costa Brava Show (1966). He illustrated several books, worked as a producer and director of photography in two films by Enric Vila Matas and Emma Cohen and even worked as a producer and director for a short film called Amen. He also cofounded and was one of the first photography teacher of the Eina School. In 1961, the year of his death, he was given a recognition of his life work as a photographer, the Cross of Sant Jordi, awarded by the Generalitat of Catalunya.

In this occasion, Ana Mas Projects, thanks to the generous collaboration of Xavier Miserachs family is pleased to present a wide selection of works from the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. All, are emblematic of Miserach’s work in Barcelona. The selection includes some of his most iconic published pictures but also a more intimate body of work that brings to a new light his extraordinary ability to capture emotions and personal moments. The exhibition will be divided into different thematic: locations of Barcelona, its streets, bars and cabarets, the Costa Brava (pictures of Costa Brava Show, 1966), and rural scenes of Andalucía. Also, a more abstract group of pictures will show nature, landscapes and daily objects, fruits of Miserach’s first approximations with photography.



1 Miserachs joined the AFC in 1950 and with just 17 years old won the Luis Navarro award for the 2nd national salon of modern photography awarded by the same AFC.
2 Miserachs en su marco histórico, Mara Gili. P. 18
3 Miserachs en su marco histórico, Mara Gili. P. 19
4 Published by the Americans in 1958
5 After 5 years of studying Medicine, Miserachs decided to drop out Medicine and dedicate himself to photography. “Xavier was born for the second time as a photographer when he saw the The Family of Man” exhibition. He was so impressed that he decided to change his career. (Oriol Maspons, 1998)
6 Terre-Miserachs-Masats (1957) in the AFC offices, AFAL and Real Sociedad fotografica of Madrid.

7 “Miserachs en su marco histórico”, Mara Gili. P. 24