MADRID.- The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo
in Madrid opened an exhibition showing how Bartolomé Ross camera portrayed the everyday life of soldiers in the Spanish protectorate of Morocco as well as visits of Alfonso XIII to the colony and meetings between Franco and Millán Astray.
The exhibition offers a look into an agitated period of Spanish history exposed with meticulous formality and documentary responsibility.
Bartolomés Ross photographic legacy covers the historical period that started in the final days of the Moroccan War and the beginning of Primo de Riveras dictatorship, which ended this conflict. His camera recorded the visits of famous figures to the Spanish Protectorate and the meetings between Franco and Millán Astray, founder of the Spanish Foreign Legion. Ros also witnessed the moments prior to the Spanish armys uprising against the Second Republic.
His account of that period captured moments of great historical value but also included scenes from the daily life of anonymous soldiers, who are depicted with an exquisite formal meticulousness and the documentary responsibility that characterised the European photographers of his era. This exhibition highlights the refined personality of his photographic oeuvre and the gaze of a man with liberal convictions who lived through the most tumultuous times in the history of twentieth-century Spain.
Bartolomé Ros (1906-1974) was born in Cartagena but lived in Ceuta from 1918 until the mid-1950s. It was there that he learned photography and began to document civil and military society. Ros worked for the army photographing military acts and facilities, an activity that he supplemented by contributing to newspapers and magazines such as ABC, Mundo Gráfico and Blanco y Negro. He published a famous photo essay on Spain in the American edition of National Geographic. In the 1930s, he founded Laboratorios Ros, a pioneering company in the distribution and processing of photographic supplies.