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KBr Fundación MAPFRE: Making Barcelona an international benchmark for photography

KBr Fundación MAPFRE: Making Barcelona an international benchmark for photography

Almost a year ago, Fundación MAPFRE decided to increase its commitment to photography with the opening the KBr Fundación MAPFRE Photography Center, a new cultural space dedicated to the art. 

This new space, which continues the work of a range of exhibitions that began in Barcelona five years ago and in Madrid in 2009, also breaks new ground.

KBr began its work in October 2020 with two major exhibitions: a Bill Brandt retrospective and an exhibition of Paul Strand’s work. The aim of the project is to become a benchmark amongst international photography centers.

What could be more courageous than opening a cultural center in the middle of a pandemic?

The decision to do so demonstrates the foundation's commitment to culture and to continue contributing to the rich cultural life of this city by providing it with a new space in which to enjoy art. 

It is true that Fundación MAPFRE has always had a social conscience. It has consolidated its position as a leader in the sector over the last 45 years thanks to its ambitious program of projects and activities in Spain and its international reputation. 

Fundación MAPFRE is dedicated to adding value to society and making a real impact on the lives of its citizens, which is why its commitment to society covers five main areas: social action, culture, health promotion, road safety, and insurance.

The cornerstone of KBr: artistic photography

Fundación MAPFRE sees KBr as a clear opportunity to contribute to the dynamism and reputation of Barcelona by means of artistic photography, a key component of the city's culture. International connections will play an essential role in the center, as the center will undertake collaborations with other major photographic institutions around the world.

With two exhibition spaces, a bookstore, an area for educational activities, and a multipurpose auditorium, KBr is set to become a Spanish and international benchmark in the field of photography. The center also has a permanent educational program dedicated to encouraging a deeper understanding of photographic language and its artistic dimensions. In addition to exhibitions, the center also offers lecture series and other activities designed to disseminate knowledge about photography.

In addition to the two major exhibitions of Bill Brandt and Paul Strand’s work, KBr has also hosted La mirada captiva (an exhibition of the daguerreotype collection of the CRDI of Girona); a major retrospective on the artist and activist Claudia Andujar; an exhibition of the American photographer Garry Winogrand’s work; and The Brown Sisters series by Nicholas Nixon (which is part of the foundation's collection). The last two are on display at the center until September 5.

KBr Photo Award

As the first season comes to an end, the Mapfre Foundation is going a step further and is launching the international KBr Photo Award, whose aim is to draw attention to talented documentary photographers.

The prize will be awarded every two years, and in addition to receiving a cash prize of 25,000 euros, the winners of this award will have their work exhibited at the center itself and published in the exhibition catalogue.

Both Spanish and international artists are invited to send in their applications by September 10.

The aim of this award is to affirm KBr’s support for contemporary photography and to make the winner known on the Spanish and international scene, so attracting emerging or already well-known talent to the city of Barcelona.

Fotografías: Cortesía KBr Fundación Mapfre.

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