Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography

Grete Stern. Photomontage for Madí , Ramos Mejía, Argentina. 1946-47

Gelatin silver print, 23 9/16 x 19 7/16" (59.8 x 49.4 cm). Latin American and Caribbean Fund and partial gift of Mauro Herlitzka. © 2018 Galería Jorge Mara-La Ruche

Curator, Roxana Marcoci: The German born artist Grete Stern is probably one of the most influential figures in photography in Argentina. Grete Stern studied graphic arts in Stuttgart in the 1920s, and afterwards she decided to move to Berlin, in order to begin taking classes in newly established photography department at the Bauhaus school.

Director, Glenn Lowry: But Stern’s career producing advertisements and studio portraits was cut short by the rise of the Nazis. She fled Germany in 1933 and immigrated to Argentina.

Roxana Marcoci: A decade later, she became a very active collaborator of MADI, which is also known as Movimiento de Arte Concreto Invención. This was a very international culture movement, which was founded in Buenos Aires. The image that you are looking at right now, she created it in 1946, for a publication of the MADI group. Now what she did in this picture in order to produce it, was to perspectivally insert the individual letters M-A-D-I into the Plaza de la Republica, like an advertisement, and with the intention, in fact, to redefine public space through language and through abstraction. While her original collage was unfortunately lost in the publication process, what you see here is the oldest vintage print available of a very emblematic image from the Latin American concrete avant-garde.

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