Morte di un miliziano lealista, fronte di Cordoba, Spagna, inizio settembre 1936 Robert Capa Retrospective - Monza
A major exhibition dedicated to Robert Capa, the greatest photojournalist of the 20th century, will be held at the Arengario in Monza, from 7th October 2018 through 27th January 2019.
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« If your photos aren’t good enough, you're not close enough » Robert Capa

A major exhibition dedicated to Robert Capa, the greatest photojournalist of the 20th century, will be held at the Arengario in Monza, from 7th October 2018 through 27th January 2019. In 1947, Robert Capa with Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger, David Seymour and William Vandiver founded Magnum Photos.

“We are very honoured to host in our city the iconic shots of the greatest photojournalist of the 20th century. Capa was a professional who, with his journalistic work he would perform with maniacal care and outstanding passion, has helped immortalize some of the most important and dramatic pages in the history of the last century ", pointed out the Mayor Dario Allevi.

"This big exhibition confirms our Municipal Administration’s intention to further upgrade the activities held at the Arengario with the aim of offering top quality cultural and artistic events. In this light, the retrospective exhibition dedicated to Robert Capa is a must. Visitors will have the opportunity to see over 100 photos of the famous photographer in a picturesque and ideal setting which, once again, proves to be ideal for hosting high-level photographic exhibitions", added Massimiliano Longo, Councillor for Culture.

The exhibition features more than 100 black and white photos documenting the major conflicts of the 20th century personally witnessed by Capa from 1936 to 1954. Having removed all barriers between photographer and subject, his shots portray suffering, poverty, chaos ,and the cruelty of wars. Some of his pictures have now become iconic: such as, the death of a loyalist militiaman in the Spanish civil war in 1937, and the photographs of the landing of the American troops in Normandy, in June 1944.

The exhibition is divided into 13 sections. At the end of this edition in Monza, there will also be a brand-new addition, namely "Gerda Taro and Robert Capa", presenting their human story and their relationship. This cameo section features three different shots: a portrait of Robert, a portrait of Gerda taken by Robert, and their ‘double portrait’.

"This exhibition lends itself to different readings. It’s up to visitors to decide which one they want to focus on: recent history, wars, passions, and friends. This is because photography for Robert Capa was both physical and mental; it was a political, as well as sentimental issue. "If your photographs aren’t good, it means that you are not close enough". This was not only his mantra, but also the sentence chosen by Magnum Photo to celebrate their seventy year anniversary. "Closer", says Denis Curti, the exhibition curator, who faithfully reproduced the exhibition originally curated by Richard Whelan. “If the tendency of war - observed Whelan, biographer and scholar of Capa - is to dehumanize, Capa’s strategy was to re-personalize it by recording individual gestures and facial expressions. According to his friend John Steinbeck, Capa knew he could not photograph war, since, above all, it is an emotion. However, he managed to photograph that emotion, which he knew closely, by showing the horrors suffered by a whole people through one child.”

Robert Capa (Budapest, 22nd October 1913 - Thai Binh, Indochina, 25th May 1954) is the nom de plume for Endre Friedmann, which he devised in 1936 together with his partner Gerda Taro. He was still young when, after taking part in protests against the far-right government, he left his homeland and moved to Germany. Capa's original ambition was to become a writer, but his job in a photography studio in Berlin brought him closer to photography. Here he collaborated with the photojournalist agency Dephot under the influence of Simon Guttmann. He got his first assignment to attend a conference by Trotskji in Copenhagen in 1932. Following the rise of Nazism in 1933, Capa, who was Jewish, went to France, where he also had difficulties working as a freelance photographer. From 1936 to 1939, he was in Spain, where he documented the horrors of the civil war, together with his young partner Gerda Taro. Helena Janeczek’s novel "The Girl with the Leica" which won the 2018 Strega Prize is dedicated to her. Partly for challenge, partly out of opportunity, the two of them ‘fabricated’ the character "Robert Capa", a renowned but elusive American photographer who went to Paris to work in Europe. With this expedient, the couple multiplied their work assignments. Actually, at the beginning, the "Capa-Taro" brand was equally used by both photographers. Later on, the two split the 'company name' - CAPA - and Endre Friedman definitively adopted the pseudonym Robert Capa for himself. Gerda would die crushed under the tracks of a tank when she was only 27 years old.

Capa then went to China during the resistance war against the Japanese invasion in 1938. After a few months in London, in 1943 he was sent to North Africa. He then followed the landing of the Allied troops in Sicily. The exhibition shows a wide selection of photos taken on the island and while progressing with the American troops up to Naples and Cassino.

Capa then followed the Normandy landing during the famous D-Day, which he extraordinarily documented. The exhibition then shows pictures of the liberation of Paris in 1944, the invasion of Germany in 1945, his trip to the Soviet Union in 1947, the official establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, and finally his last appointment in Indochina in 1954, the year when he died after stepping on a landmine.

The exhibition is promoted by the Municipality of Monza and is organized by Civita Mostre in collaboration with Magnum Photos and the Casa dei Tre Oci.

Visitors may follow the whole exhibition itinerary with the audio guide in Italian and English, included in the price of admission.

Photos © Robert Capa © International Center of Photography / Magnum Photos



Robert Capa Retrospective

Monza, Arengario
Piazza Roma

7th October 2018 – 27th January 2018

Supported by
Municipality of Monza


Organized by
Civita Mostre

In collaboration with
Magnum Photos Paris, Casa dei Tre Oci

Curated by
Denis Curti

Opening hours

From Tuesday to Sunday 10.00 am – 7.00 pm
Ticket office closes half an hour before exhibition closing time
Monday closed
An audioguide (available in Italian and English) is included in the price of admission
Standard ticket: € 11.00
Discounted ticket: € 10.00 for groups of minimum 12 people, holders of concession cards.
Special Discounted ticket: € 4.00 for schools, visitors under 18
Free: for children under 6, two accompanying teachers per school class, one person accompanying disabled visitors

Booking fees

€ 1.00 per person

Guided tours

(must be booked for groups of max 25 people)
€ 100.00 groups
€ 80.00 schools
€ 120.00 In a foreign language

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