Fotografia a Catalunya

Pere Català Pic

Pere Català Pic


Valls, Alt Camp, 1889 - Barcelona, 1971.

Upon the death of his father his mother moved to Barcelona where Pere Català went to school and, at a very young age, went to work in a bank. While working at the bank he won a raffle, the prize being a camera, and it was this that led to his enthusiasm for photography. While it is true that he spent some months at Rafael Areñas's photographic studio, he was basically self-taught. Between 1915 and 1931 he worked as a portrait photographer in Valls, the town of his birth where, as well as portraits, he produced documentary photographs covering numerous subjects. During this period his artistic outlook led to an interest in theoretical and technical questions and to an avid interest in learning about the work of avant-garde European photographers, something he was able to do through the various journeys abroad that he made between 1928 and 1931, as well as through illustrated magazines. This explains why his work, while having its own personal character, can be equated with that of photographers such as Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy, Renger-Patzsch and Sougez.

In 1931, shortly after the proclamation of the Republic, he returned to Barcelona to set up his own photographic studio, devoting his attention to modernising advertising photography, an area in which he was a pioneer in Catalonia, together with Josep Sala and Josep Masana. Català i Pic had developed an interest in the psychological theories concerning advertising, something that was very much in vogue at the time. He worked with the Psycho-technical Institute of the Generalitat de Catalunya and took part in congresses, courses and conferences on the subject.

Between 1932 and 1936, trading under the name of PIC, he worked as an advertising photographer for various companies such as Anís del Mono and Xocolates Juncosa. He also wrote articles for magazines such as Mirador, Revista Ford, Nova Ibèria and Art de la Llum, in which he made the case for modernity in advertising photography. At the time he was in contact with avant-garde associations such as ADLAN (Friends of Art) and he participated actively in the Barcelona exhibition in 1935 which ADLAN devoted to Man Ray and GATCPAC. During the Spanish Civil War he lent his talents to the needs of Republican propaganda and was responsible for the publications issued by Commisariat of Propaganda of the Generalitat de Catalunya. His famous poster Aixafem el feixisme, (Smash Fascism), one of the first produced under strictly photographic criteria, dates from this period.

After the war, given his Republican sympathies, it was not possible for him to continue with his photographic enterprise until 1942. He was then assisted by his sons and daughter, Maria-Àurea Català i Roca, who became a painter; Francesc Català i Roca, who also became a prestigious photographer, and Pere Català i Roca, also a photographer and writer. A highly-cultured man, he devoted his last years to writing short stories, novels and drama and he associated with the most outstanding intellectuals of the period.


Font: Giori, Pablo: Pere Català i Pic Fotografia, publicitat, avantguarda i literatura (1889-1971), Rafael Dalmau editor, 2016.



2016 Pere Català i Pic Fotografia, publicitat, avantguarda i literatura (1889-1971), Rafael Dalmau editor, 2016.

2015 El Valls de Pere Català i Pic, amb motiu del centenari dels seus inicis fotogràfics, Museu de Valls.


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