not to be missed: the mexican suitcase at the icp

from the icp:

“The Mexican Suitcase will for the first time give the public an opportunity to experience images drawn from this famous collection of recovered negatives. In December 2007, three boxes filled with rolls of film, containing 4,500 35mm negatives of the Spanish Civil War by Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and Chim (David Seymour)—which had been considered lost since 1939—arrived at the International Center of Photography. These three photographers, who lived in Paris, worked in Spain, and published internationally, laid the foundation for modern war photography. Their work has long been considered some of the most innovative and passionate coverage of the Spanish Civil War (1936–1939). Many of the contact sheets made from the negatives will be on view as part of the exhibition, which will look closely at some of the major stories by Capa, Taro, and Chim as interpreted through the individual frames. These images will be seen alongside the magazines of the period in which they were published and with the photographers’ own contact notebooks. The exhibition is organized by ICP assistant curator Cynthia Young.”

and more excellent backstory on the find and fable from emma allen, artinfo:

“Unveiled for the first time in this show, then, are astounding works by Capa, Taro, and Chim — Jewish immigrants from Hungary, Germany, and Poland respectively — who lived in Paris, worked in Spain, and published their photojournalistic masterpieces in publications worldwide. Capa was known for his gung-ho, first-man-parachuting-onto-the-frontlines approach to war photography, a bravado that has influenced many subsequent photojournalists working in war zones.

This chain-smoking, heavy-drinking buddy of Hemingway andSteinbeck fell in with Taro, one of the earliest female war photographers, who became Capa’s lover until she died at the Battle of Brunnette, run down by a tank at the age of 27. She was in part responsible for the character “Frank Capa” the quintessential American photographer — a pseudonym and persona for Endre Friedmann that was designed to help him round up more assignments.

Add to the mix the warmhearted David Seymour (also known as Chim, an abbreviation of Szymin, the photographer’s given surname), known for his images of the children whose were devastated by the war, and it is easy to understand the excitement about the discovery of the works.

Sadly, the other hotly debated Capa mystery — whether he staged his famed image “The Falling Soldier,” which depicts a Spanish Republican man staggering backward on a battlefield near Córdoba in 1936, supposedly at the very moment he has been hit by enemy fire — was not solved by this find. As yet, no negative has been located for this work that has been reproduced from an extant print, and no sequence of negatives was included in the boxes that might show what happened before and after the iconic moment.”



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