Nicolás Muller: The Committed Gaze

This exhibition explores the landscapes of a lifelong journey and the countries where Nicolás Muller lived. It includes 126 primarily unpublished photographs from the period 1930–1967, being made especially for this occasion upon the request of the Cervantes Institute and the Ministry of Culture of Spain.

Nicolás Muller always strived to create a selection of his best 100 photographs, but, as it turned out later, many more photos deserve to be shown to the public.
In 2015, when Nicolás Muller’s studio in Madrid closed for good, his daughter Ana Muller, a photographer herself, came across a long-forgotten box with 3,000 negatives. Seeing the exceptional quality of the photographs, she decided to introduce some of the unpublished photos to interested audiences while also taking the opportunity to make public some of the unpublished material held by the Regional Archives of the Autonomous Community of Madrid.
Several of the photographs shown here have been used to illustrate various publications which involved significant modifications, but now these photos are also available in their original format. The exhibition will also allow a broader picture of Nicolás Muller’s work than we have seen so far.

The exhibition has been organized by Capa Center and Instituto Cervantes Budapest and co-organized by the Spanish Ministry of Culture with the collaboration of the Embassy of Spain in Budapest. The curators are José Ferrero Villares, Ana Muller, Claudia Küssel.

About the Author

The photographer Nicolas Muller was born in Oroshaza, Hungary, in 1913. He studied law and political science, but finally, he worked as a photographer. In 1938 he traveled to Paris because he had to run away from Nazism.

A portrait of Nicolás Muller

He witnessed an era that left Europe scarred: he was faced with the horrors of Nazism at the very beginning of its brutality, and in his search for a free society, he visited many countries which were under the influence of Nazi barbarism, such as Austria, Italy, and France, or which were victims of internal conflicts and suffered from authoritarianism, such as Portugal and Spain. Eventually, he settled in Madrid in 1947.
The main work of Muller in Spain was to take photos of little villages, his population, and his life during the post-war period.

“I have always believed that the photographer has in his hands a unique means of reflecting reality, and the camera must have a sort of notarial fidelity and do so, moreover, in a certain aesthetic direction,” said Muller about his job. He died in 2000 in a little village in Asturias. During his years in Hungary, he took photos of human misery.

Nicolás Muller: The Committed Gaze
June 16, 2022 – September 04, 2022
Robert Capa Contemporary Photography Center
Budapest, Hungary

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