Agustí Centelles (Agustí Centelles)

Agustí Centelles

Photographer. He was born in El Cabanyal, Valencia. At the age of two, he moved with his father to Barcelona. In the 1920s, he began his career as graphic reporter for the newspaper “El Día Gráfico.” After, he worked as free lance. When he discovered the Leica Camera, he changed the style of photographies in the spanish daily press, in a very revolution. He was the only photographer who have taken photos during the beginning of Spanish Civil war in the streets of Barcelona, in july 19, 1936. During the war, he moved to Belchite and Aragón Fronts, and his work reflected powerfully, the hard, sad situations in a civil war. In 1939, he was forced to exile, taking with him more than 4.000 negatives. In Bram, France, he was interned in a concentration camp, and also he reflected with his camera, the poor life during his staying in the camp. In 1942, he left the camp and he joined the Resistence, but his life is in danger, and he decided return to Spain. Also, he left his negatives of a couple of peasants. There, he was judged and condemned to jail, but the penalty was changed to conditional freedom. Then, he was forced to work in industrial and publicity photography. When the Franco’s dictatorship fell down, in 1976, he recovered his negatives. Then began his recognition as one of the most important photographers around the world, and a principal witness of the history of his time. Between 1978 to his death, several expositions collected his work, divided in three periods: República (Spanish Republic), Guerra Civil (Civil War) and Exilio en Francia (Exile in France). He published books such as “Visions de Guerra and Reraguarda,” “Els Catalans i la República i a la Guerra: Anys de Mort i d’Esperança,” “Catalunya Republicana i Revolucionària” and “…En Ese Preciso Instante.” In 1984, he received a tribute in Valencia, and he exhibed his photographies. Also this year, he obtained the National Award for Plastic Arts. In 2004, in El Cabanyal, it was realized an exhibition of his work in the VII Edition of Cabanyal Portes Obertes, organized by the Salvem El Cabanyal Platform. His sons Sergi and Octavi also are photographers. His full name was Agustí Centelles i Ossó. He died of lymphoma in Barcelona, Catalunya. (bio by: José L Bernabé Tronchoni)


  • May, 21, 1909


  • December, 12, 1985


  • Cementiri de Les Corts
  • Cataluna
  • Spain

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