World-famous photographer Robert Capa (1913-1954) is known first and foremost for his courageous coverage of five different wars. His photos of the casualties of the Spanish Civil War and of the events in the Second World War are classics of photojournalism. The Japanese invasion of China in 1938, World War II, London, North Africa, Italy, D-day on Omaha Beach and the liberation of Paris are all history documented in part by Capa.
The exhibition titled Robert Capa: Photographs opened at Helsinki City Art Museum presented one of the most interesting photographers of this century in 160 black-and-white photographs. In many photos which were on exhibit for the first time, Capa could also be seen as a gentle humorist and a portrayer of a broad variety of human destinies. Capa’s photographs were widely published in magazines such as Life, Collier’s, Picture Post and The Saturday Evening Post. But Capa also recorded peace-time events: political and social turning points as well as the joys and sorrows of everyday life. He also shot portraits of famous contemporaries such as Ernest Hemingway, Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso. In 1947, Capa was one of the founders of a photographic agency, Magnum Photos, which soon became famous and which Capa directed in the early 1950s.
Robert Capa was born in 1913 in Budapest, Hungary. He died in 1954 when he stepped on a landmine while on assignment covering the French Indochina war in Hanoi for Life magazine. While the majority of Capa’s photos are documents of the most devastating events of the 20th century, they are also timeless documents of human fate. Capa always took his photos from as close as possible, by sharing the world of his subjects.
Robert Capa’s exhibition and the accompanying publications are produced by Aperture, a non-profit organization devoted to photography and the visual arts. The exhibition is part of the photo.doc series of events which is part of the Helsinki 2000 City of Culture programme.