Geraldo De Barros: What Remains

This week I visited The Photographer’s Gallery where they had exhibited works by Geraldo De Barros for the first time in the UK.

Geraldo De Barros’ photographs were of particular interest to me, it was exciting to learn about a photographer I had not encountered before. The exhibition focused on two series of works by the Brazilian photographer; ‘Sobras’ (Remains) and ‘Fotoformas’ (Photoforms).

De Barros was a painter before picking up the camera and would use photography as a means of experimentation, resulting in the images that build the ‘Fotoformas’ section. Much of this work reminded me of what students would conjure up whilst playing around in the darkrooms making use of techniques such as, double and triple exposures, layering and manipulating negatives. A lot of the content in Fotoformas focuses on shapes and landscapes in order to produce abstract images, once again photography is being used to play with what we perceive as the truth.


Having studied in Europe and largely producing much of his practice there, which can be noted by the overt Bauhaus influences, De Barros abandoned photography for four decades when returning to Brazil. It was only in the early 1990’s that his daughter discovered his early works and rejuvenated his interest in the medium. This leads to the second series of works ‘Sobras’ which focuses on family, travel photographs and left over negatives. This series is much more intriguing as it draws together personal experiences as well as highlighting the fragility of photographs as well as the fragility of everyday life as the images are cut up and re-arranged to document a new truth.

Cut outs & Contact prints

Geraldo De Barros: What Remains is running until April 7th 2013 and is also in conjunction with Laura Letinsky’s ‘Ill Form and Void Full’ and the group show ‘Perspectives on Collage’, which is worth seeing if only for C.K Rajan’s pieces! Admission is free to all three shows. More information can be found here.

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