Lewis Baltz – Bárbara de Braganza Exhibition Hall, Madrid

Whilst in Madrid over the weekend I researched into current exhibitions going on around the centre. I had briefly come across Lewis Baltz work but only online so I thought I’d take up the opportunity as admission price was only 3 Euros. It showed a lot of his work ranging through his whole life, and it was interesting to see how he went from black and white to colour.

His work questions the beauty of the landscape, showing the urban, banal, modern and manmade buildings and its surroundings. They’re populated, but appear almost derelict with hardly any figures. I also liked the framing, the large mount around the images gave them more depth and added to the derelict feel of these modernised landscapes. It gives the impression that man made structures have taken over the beauty of the landscape.

His colour work looks into surveillance and control. The images are enlarged, manipulated and often pixilated. They appear intrusive and made me feel slightly uncomfortable to be looking at them. The layout also adds to this, the images are placed tightly together in an almost collage type manner making them feel claustrophobic.

There was such a wide range of work, but it always came back to the same themes. The ideas he most commonly referred to in his work look at modernisation, man made and the rise of technology / surveillance.

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