International Center of Photography opens Capa in Color

The International Center of Photography presents Capa in Color an exhibition on view from January 31, 2014 through May 4, 2014.

Robert Capa, [Capucine, French model and actress, on a balcony, Rome], August 1951. © Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos.

Robert Capa, [Capucine, French model and actress, on a balcony, Rome], August 1951. © Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos.

Beginning in 1941, Robert Capa regularly used color film until his death in 1954. Some of the photographs were published in the magazines of the day, but over the years the color work was virtually forgotten. Until now.
Capa in Color, on view at the International Center of Photography (ICP) from January 31 to May 4, 2014, is the first full assessment of color photographs by the famed photojournalist. Comprising over 100 contemporary prints, as well as related publications and personal papers, the exhibition is a fascinating new look into the color work of this master of photography.

“Capa’s talent with black-and-white film was extraordinary, and starting color film halfway through his career required a new discipline, but it also opened up new opportunities,” said ICP Curator Cynthia Young, who organized the exhibition. “The exhibition is also about how Capa reinvents himself as a photographer during the years when he is not covering war and political conflicts. The color work was very much a part of trying to keep the Magnum agency afloat, because the magazines wanted more and more color in the postwar period.”

In 1938, while in China covering the Sino-Japanese War, Capa wrote to a friend at his New York agency requesting 12 rolls of Kodachrome and instructions on how to use it. Only four prints published in the October 17, 1938, issue of Life survive from these first experiments with color film, but Capa was clearly curious about color photography even before it was widely used in news magazines or by other photojournalists. During his first two years covering World War II, he used color film more regularly and often carried two cameras with him. In 1941, while crossing the Atlantic with an Allied convoy, he shot color images for the Saturday Evening Post and later traveled to North Africa, where he made spectacular images of the military buildup. While some of his color work was published in Illustrated and Collier’s, in 1944 and 1945 he returned to using black-and-white film exclusively, in part because of the time required to process, censor, edit, and publish color.

International Center of Photography 1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street New York NY 10036 T 212 857 0045 F 212 857 0090 www.icp.org

Top