The Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey presents the first major retrospective of the photographer Kati Horna (Hungary, 1912-Mexico, 2000), which brings together her work realized in Hungary, France, Spain and Mexico throughout six decades of her artistic career. Her work is characterized by both the clear influence of a surrealistic style and a very personal style that developed within graphic journalism.

Organized by the Museo Amparo, Puebla, Mexico, in collaboration with the Jeu de Paume, Paris, the exhibition Kati Horna reassesses and recaptures the work of a versatile photographer, socially committed and a humanist, who with her unusual creativity contributed to the photojournalism of war and participated in the vanguard proposals of the 1930s.

Kati Horna, of Jewish dissent, lived from her infancy through adolescence in Budapest during an unstable sociopolitical period; the surrounding violence, danger and injustice of that time influenced her ideology profoundly. She found in photograph a means of denunciation and a way to express her particular vision: committed, humane and compassionate.

In 1930, she lived in Germany for a year where she met the German writer Bertolt Brecht and joined his group of compatriot photographers who she saw frequently: Robert Capa, Simon Guttman and László Moholy-Nagy, among others. When she returned to Budapest, she entered the studio of the well-known Hungarian photographer József Pecsi; for a month she was his only student.

Later, in 1933, she left Hungary and moved to Paris where she consolidated her photographic style. Inspired by the vanguard movements of the time, like surrealism, the Bauhaus and Russian constructivism, Horna began to produce collages and photomontages.

During the Spanish Civil War, she was in charge of photographing aspects of the conflict for the Republican Government as well as everyday life. She was editor of the magazine Umbral, where she would meet José Horna and collaborated with other magazines such as Tierra y Libertad, Tiempos Nuevos and Mujeres Libres. Later, on a brief return to Paris in 1939, the uneasiness of the war forced her to marry Horna and leave Europe to seek refuge our country. In Mexico, she met other exiled artists: Remedios Varo, Benjamín Péret, Emerico Chiki Weisz, Edward James and Leonora Carrington. She participated in diverse magazines, shot portraits of personalities in the literary and artistic worlds such as Alfonso Reyes, Germán Cueto, Pedro Friedeberg, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Mathias Goeritz as well as Varo and Carrington. She dedicated the final twenty years of her life to her work and to teaching photography.

The exhibition is divided in three large sections that review the work of the artist from the beginning of her career as a photographer in Budapest, Berlin and Paris between 1932 and 1937; her time in Spain during the Civil War between 1937 and 1939; her return to Paris in 1939; and, her final years living in Mexico from 1939 to her death in 2000.

The show includes more than 150 works—the majority are vintage prints—many of them unpublished or not well known. There is extensive documentation as such personal photograph of the artist and reportage published in magazine from Hungary, France, Spain and Mexico. The works come from the Kati and José Horna Private Archive of Photography and Graphics Kati, as well as private collections.

The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday, 30 January to 24 May, 2015.


© MUSEO DE ARTE CONTEMPORÁNEO DE MONTERREY, 2016 | Zuazua y Jardón S/N, Centro. Monterrey, N.L. Mexico, 64000 | Ph. +52 (81) 8262.4500

Follow us