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Capa in Israel

The Robert Capa Center for Contemporary Photography, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the State of Israel and Hungary, presents Robert Capa's photographs taken in Israel in a special lightbox exhibition from October 10 to 26, 2019, at a Tel Aviv Hangar 11 Exhibition Hall.

Open to the public:
2019. 10. 10. – 2019. 10. 26.
Other location: Hangar 11, Tel Aviv, Israel
Curator: Gabriella Csizek

Robert Capa: New immigrants disembarking from the Theodor Herzl, near Haifa, Israel, 1949-50 © Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos

Robert Capa (1913–1954), born as Endre Friedmann in Budapest, Hungary, with his legendary oeuvre and life, is considered the unique chronicler of the historical events of the 20th century, both in the universal and the Hungarian history of photography. He created a revolutionary visual world with his photographs and showed generations to come how powerful the images constructed from a deep sense of humanism can be.

Robert Capa took photographs in Israel on several occasions between 1948 and 1950. He captured the reality of the newly founded Jewish state’s first years, from the arrival of the immigrants, through the everyday life of transitory camps, to the finding of their new homes, with all the expectations, joy, pain, and doubt involved. The photographs taken in this heroic and distinctive period of Israel’s birth present a true image of a painful, uncertain, yet still optimistic, naïve, and idealistic experience that permeated the everyday life of Israeli pioneers.

As a true testament to Robert Capa’s compositional virtuosity and talent, the selected photographs are not only meaningful representations of what happened, but they also show his unique ability to capture one’s entire life in a face or a gaze. Robert Capa’s photographs taken in Israel are incredible visual highlights of the story which leads from the journey through the arrival to the world of the no less heroic days of everyday lives. Taken during his three stays in Israel, the images of this photo series were also shot from his usual position of the participating observer and now are considered to be an integral part of his oeuvre.

We all know Capa’s world-famous words: “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” In Israel, Capa was “close enough,” along with his subjects, and this is how these images were made. (Gabriella Csizek, curator)


Year of Hungarian Culture in Israel