Close Enough: Robert Capa



‘Close Enough’ was a touring exhibition featuring unique vintage photographs by Robert Capa. ‘Close Enough’ opened at our London gallery and previewed at Photo London on 8 September 2021 before touring our Wiltshire and Yorkshire venues. Shown alongside Laura El-Tantawy’s ‘In the Shadow of the Pyramids’, the two exhibitions formed our ‘Documenting Conflict’ shown at Messums London.

Robert Capa (1913 – 1954) is a legend in the history of photojournalism and possibly the most famous war photographer of the last century. Born in Budapest, he moved to Berlin when he was 18, and worked as a darkroom assistant. With the rise of Fascism in Germany, he went to Paris and later to New York to work as a photojournalist. He changed his name to ‘Robert Capa’ because he thought it would be easily recognisable – and it sounded American. Capa died at 40 years old and covered five different wars during his lifetime: the Spanish Civil War; the Sino-Japanese War; the Second World War; the 1948 Arab-Israeli War; and the first Indochina War.

The exhibition ‘Close Enough’ featured a succession of iconic stories made throughout Capa’s career, from the altogether varying contexts in which he found himself. The title of the show references and questions Capa’s iconic photographic mantra. ‘Close Enough’ evokes the scenes he witnessed and the risks taken, the challenges he encountered in photographing tragedy and death while remaining a detached observer, as well as the legacy of this photographic approach today.

“If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” Robert Capa


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