Joana Biarnés Exhibition – 1960s Madrid Street Fashion

Madrid in the 1960s was achanging world – the young generation coming to age in the decade were coming through in an intensely conservative Spain which was much at odds with the rest of the western world.

The Canal Isabel II Exhibition Hall is hosting a exhibition running until 23 July featuring the work of photographer Joana Biarnés, taken mainly in Madrid between 1962 and 1972, which captures this change through her camera lens of Spain´s rapidly changing fashion and society.

Biarnés, who died in 2018, was herself unique in that she was the first and at that time the only woman photojournalist working in Spain and later founded her own photo agency.

As a young photographer she broke the mold of Franco era regime approved pieces and photographed many leading figures in the world of art and culture including Salvador Dali, Lola Flores and visiting international stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Tom Jones.

Curated by art historian, Josep Casamartina, the exhibition will display photographs that represent Spanish streets, the neighbourhoods and their inhabitants going about their daily business.

The backdrop was a fast expanding and changing capital – the Castellana was still being built and the Plaza Castilla ( which opened in 1970) a gateway to open land rapidly being built over with residential and office blocks for a fast growing population. citizens during this period, which are the features of the exhibition.

Joana Biarnés’ relationship with fashion began in her native Barcelona and was consolidated in Madrid.

The exhibition includes more than a hundred photographs that show the evolution of fashion and society in a time of far-reaching changes.

Biarnés treated fashion with the same proximity and sincerity with which she addressed the rest of the topics she documented, and this is one of her main contributions.  In the field of fashion photography, the artist often placed the models on the street, showing them naturally and without the need for extravagant settings. She captured the essence of her time uniquely in each image.

Image Credits:

  • © Joana Biarnés. Lourdes Albert and other models on the Gran Via. Madrid, October 1967
  • © Joana Biarnés. Models with fashionable shorts. Editorial shot on the outskirts of Madrid. 1971




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