Joan Fontcuberta


Spain, 1955. Lives in Barcelona

Joan Fontcuberta first became interested in photography in high school. He went on to study Information Sciences at Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona and during his final years he combined his studies with professional experience in advertising and journalism. He taught at the School of Fine Arts at Universitat de Barcelona and took an active part in the creation of its Photo, Film and Video Department. Afterwards he continued teaching as a guest lecturer in various European and US universities and schools. Since 1993 he is adjunct professor in Audiovisual Communication at Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona.
He also collaborates regularly with the press and art and photo magazines. A scholar of the history of 20th century Spanish photography and of international contemporary art, he has written many essays on the subject and has curated exhibitions on some of its issues. In 1975 he co-founded the group FotoFAD and the Alabern group in 1977. In 1979 he promoted the Jornades Catalanes de Fotografia and in 1982 he co-founded the Primavera Fotogràfica de Barcelona. In 1996 he was appointed art director of the International Photography Festival in Arles, France. In 2008 he co-founded the SCAN photo festival. Among other honours, Joan Fontcuberta was awarded the David Octavius Hill Medal by the Fotografisches Akademie GDL in Germany in 1988, and in 1994 he was distinguished with the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Ministry of Culture of France, in both cases in recognition of his body of work in photography. In 1997 he received the UK Year of Photography and Electronic Image Grant Award from the Arts Council of Great Britain; in 1998, the National Photography Prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of Spain; in 2002, the International Photography Prize awarded by CRAF (Centro di Ricerca e Archivazione della Fotografia) in Spilimbergo, Italy; in 2011 the National Culture Prize awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya, and the National Essay Prize by the Ministry of Culture of Spain; and in 2013 the Hasselblad Prize.