Giant photography exhibition opens in Madrid

Madrid is known for its fine art museums displaying paintings by Spanish and Dutch Masters, but every year it also hosts one of the largest photography exhibitions in Europe.

PHotoEspaña, the International Festival of Photography and Visual Arts of Madrid, has been going strong since 1998 and is a major event here, with exhibitions and workshops in dozens of museums and galleries around town.

One of the most interesting exhibitions is a retrospective of László Moholy-Nagy at the Circulo de Bellas Artes. This Hungarian artist (1895-1946) was an important part of the Bauhaus movement in prewar Germany and worked in all media. His photography and short films document Berlin before it got leveled, and his experiments with photograms and photomontage are still being imitated by less creative artists sixty years later.

“El Circulo” is worth seeing in its own right. It’s one of Madrid’s most popular art centers. There are spaces for three different exhibitions, a cool radio station, a movie theater, and one of the most beautiful cafes in Madrid. Even if you visit Madrid too late to see PHotoEspaña, do try and see El Circulo.

PHotoEspaña 2010 runs until July 25.

Photo of Madrid’s metro courtesy il lele via Gadling’s flickr pool. Nicely done. It should be in the show!