Xavier Miserachs

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Xavier Miserachs. Selfportrait

Xavier Miserachs i Ribalta (Catalan pronunciation: [ʃəβiˈe mizəˈɾaɡz i riˈβaltə]; July 12, 1937 – August 14, 1998) was a Catalan photographer. He studied medicine at the University of Barcelona, but left school to be a photographer. He exhibited his work in Barcelona from 1956. His work is reminiscent of neorealism and is representative of the years of Spanish economic recovery, 1950-1960. His photographs show him as a creator of a new image of the city and its people. In 1998 he received the Creu de Sant Jordi of the Catalan government.


Miserachs was born in Barcelona on July 12, 1937, in the middle of the Spanish Civil War. He was the son of a hematologist and a librarian, Manuel Miserachs and Montserrat Ribalta. He discovered photography at the Technical Institute of Santa Eulàlia, in Barcelona, where he met Ramon Fabregat and his brother Antonio. He studied four courses of a career in medicine, but left shortly before the end to embark on a career as a professional photographer.

In 1952, he became a member of the Photographic Association of Catalonia (Agrupació Fotogràfica de Catalunya), where he became friends with Oriol Maspons. He first exhibited at the headquarters of the Photographic Association of Catalonia in 1957, along with Ricard Terré and Ramon Masats. In 1959 they presented work together again in the Sala Aixelà of Barcelona. He began his professional career in 1959, when Xavier Busquets commissioned him to guide Picasso in his drawings of the facade of the College of Architects of Catalonia.

In 1961, after returning from military service, Miserachs wanted independence, and set up his first studio in Casa David at Carrer Tuset in Barcelona. He began photographing on request and for book authors with his work appearing in books such as Barcelona Blanc i Negre (with 400 photographs recounting the war in Barcelona) and Costa Brava Show.

During the 1960s he also served as a news reporter for Spanish magazines. In 1968 he signed an exclusive contract with the Revista Triunfo. He also published several articles in La Vanguardia, Gaceta Ilustrada, Interviú, Bazaar and Magazin. He was thus able to witness such historic events as May 68, Swinging London and Prague Spring. Miserachs engaged mainly in editorial photography but also did work doing reports.

In January 1967 he co-founded the Escola Eina, where he was one of the first professors of photography. He occasionally frequented Boccaccio's, then the meeting place par excellence of the gauche divine. In 1997 he published his memoir, contact sheets, which won a Gaziel prize.

Miserachs died on August 14, 1998, aged 61, in the Hospital Germans Trias i Pujol in Badalona from lung cancer.



Miserachs was the youngest member of a group of photographers led by Francesc Català-Roca. The group's other members were: Oriol Maspons, Ricard Terré, Paco Ontañón, Leopold Pomés, and Ramon Masats.

At the time, the only photography magazine was Arte Fotografico, founded by the Ignacio Barceló in 1952, which featured mostly amateur photography. It was announced[when?] that Josep M. Casademont would assume the role of promoter between the theoretical and Catalan photographers.[relevant? ] In 1963 he published his own magazine, Image and Sound, taking the same direction of Sala Aixelà of Barcelona. Here, Casademont describes the group's work as neorealist:

For us, photography was a food problem, was not an existential or spiritual problem. Was the problem of practicing the profession to live we had chosen. I know the rear plastic manifestation could imply that denounced a state of injustice, misery ... But no, nothing, lie.[clarification needed] What I was really aspired to become a professional photographer. It seemed a very honorable aspiration and revolted us that society does not give us access mechanisms. They then had a particular realization of all this, instead of escaping, for example by means of surrealism escapèssim us by way of social criticism, I think it is purely accidental.

— Josep M. Casademont

His publication in Barcelona, Blanc y Negre, in 1964, was a significant event in Miserachs's career. The book also looked upon the sour and chaotic urban world as they complete the visions of Barcelona (Wolfgang Weber, 1929 and Català-Roca, 1954), and went beyond charming and picturesque character, conveying a new sensitivity.[citation needed]


Miserachs had a brief foray with film, making underground movie shots with some of his friends Enrique Vila-Matas, Emma Cohen and Jordi Cadena. Later he directed and produced his own short film, Amén historieta muda (Amen dumb cartoon.) He made the film still from Juguetes rotos, directed by Manuel Summers, in 1966.



In 2001 the first Xavier Miserachs Photography Award was held in Barcelona, a black and white photography contest named after the author for his work in Barcelona Blanc i Negre.

In 1998 the town of Palafrugell named a route between the beaches of Calella de Palafrugell and Llafranc after Miserachs. The Biennial of Photography Xavier Miserachs, dedicated to documentary photography, is also held in Palafrugell.[1] In the biennials of 1999, 2004, 2008 and 2010 exhibitions were held of Miserachs' work.

The exhibition hall on the ground floor of the Palace of the Viceroy's wife in Barcelona was, between December 17, 1998 and 2010, named in honour of Miserachs. In 2010, Xavier Sala Miserachs moved to the old Hall of Numismatics, and the ground floor was renamed Virreina Lab.


Miserachs' archive includes approximately 60,000 negatives, 20,000 slides, 2,500 contact sheets, notebooks with personal notes, administrative documentation, and part of his personal library. Since 2011 it has been housed in the Research and Documentation Center Museum of Contemporary Art in Barcelona.


He published several photo books, most with text in Catalan or Spanish.

Year Original Naming Text by Description Publisher Ref.
1964 Barcelona, blanc i negre Josep Maria Espinàs Aymà [2]
1966 Costa Brava show Manuel Vázquez i Peter Coughtry Kairós [3]
1966 Conversaciones en Cataluña Salvador Pàniker Interviews with Josep Pla, Ana María Matute, Josep Maria Gironella, Salvador Espriu, Josep Maria de Porcioles, Antoni Tàpies, Josep Maria Subirachs or Salvador Dalí among others. Kairós [4]
1967 Los cachorros Mario Vargas Llosa Lumen [5]
1967 El arte prerrománico asturiano Antonio Bonet Correa Polígrafa
1969 Conversaciones en Madrid Salvador Pàniker Interviews with Camilo José Cela, Antonio Buero Vallejo, Aranguren, Sáenz de Oiza among others. Kairós [6]
1978 Andalucía Barroca Antonio Bonet Correa Polígrafa [7]
1982 Catalunya des del mar Carles Barral Collection Vida i costums dels catalans. Edicions 62 [8]
1984 Aprendre a conviure Josep Maria Espinàs Aprende a conviure. Reflexions sobre civilitat. Caixa de Sabadell [9]
1985 Catalunya a vol d'ocell Carles Barral, Josep Maria Ainaud Edicions 62 [10]
1987 Barcelona a vol d'ocell Montserrat Roig i Fransitorra Edicions 62 [11]
1987 Passeig de Mar Xavier Febrés Passeig de mar: la costa catalana del delta de l'Ebre a Cotlliure. Ed. Plaza y Janés/Diari de Barcelona [12]
1988 Els barcelonins Colita, Oriol Maspons, Ana María Moix, Terenci Moix Edicions 62 [13]
1988 Les Barcelones del Món J. Nuñez, Rafael Pradas Caixa de Barcelona [14]
1990 Metros i Metròpolis Xavier Febrés, Mercè Sala Diputació de Barcelona [15]
1990 Gran Teatre del Liceu With Ferran Freixa. L'Avenç [16]
1992 El Gran Teatre del Liceu a Sevilla Ramon Pla i Arxé L'Avenç [17]
1997 L'Empordà, llibre de meravelles Antoni Puigverd Edicions 62 [18]
1995 Ciutat Vella. Visions des d'una passió Joan Barril, Josep Maria Carandell, Josep Cuní, Arcadi Espada, Josep Maria Espinàs, Xavier Febrés, Patrícia Gabancho, Josep Maria Huertas, Josep M. Lladó, Lluís Permanyer, Alfred Rexach i Margarita Rivière. Lunwerg [19]
1997 Fulls de contacte Xavier Miserachs Premi Gaziel 1997 Edicions 62 [20]
1998 Girona a Quatre Vents Joan Domènech i Moner Lunwerg [21]
1998 Criterio fotográfico Xavier Miserachs Editorial Omega [22]
2004 Conversaciones en Madrid y en Cataluña Salvador Pàniker i Alemany reedition Kairós [23]
2006 Memòries de la Costa Brava Rosa Regàs Fotografies de F.Català Roca i Miserachs Lupita Books [24]

Main exhibits[edit]


Further reading[edit]

  • López Mondéjar, P. (1999). Historia de la fotografía en España. Barcelona: Lunwerg editores. pp. 235–236. ISBN 84-7782-660-9.
  • Vázquez Montalbán, M. (2001) (en catalán). Barcelona dos mil anys i un dia : primer Premi de fotografia Xavier Miserachs. Barcelona: Ketres Editora, S.L. ISBN 978-84-85256-93-8.
  • Colita; Miserachs, X. (1988). Colita, Xavier Miserachs. Febrés, X.. Ayuntamiento de Barcelona. Dirección de Servicios Editoriales.. ISBN 978-84-7609-155-5.
  • Català-Roca, F.; Terré, L. (2007) (en catalán). F. Català-Roca i X. Miserachs, dues mirades al territori : memòries de la Costa Brava. Gerona: Fundación Caixa de Girona. ISBN 978-84-611-8171-1.
  • Xavier Miserachs. Barcelona: Fundación La Caixa. 1992. ISBN 978-84-7664-362-4.
  • Maspons, O. (1998) (en castellano, inglés). Xavier Miserachs. Madrid: T.F. Editores. ISBN 978-84-95183-09-5.
  • Coombs, H.; Miserachs, X.;Maspons, O.; Pumphrey, D.; Dodman, J.F. (2007). Xavier Miserachs. Madrid: La Fábrica. ISBN 978-84-96466-88-3.
  • Arrouye, J. (2004). «Le ténebrisme de Xavier Miserachs». Cahiers d'études romanes (11): pp. 101–110. ISSN 0180-684X.


  1. ^ "La Biennal de Fotografia Xavier Miserachs es celebra a Palafrugell (Girona)". Biennal de Fotografia Xavier Miserachs. Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  2. ^ Xavier Miserachs; Josep Maria Espinàs (1964). Barcelona blanc i negre: 371 fotografies. Aymà. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  3. ^ Xavier Miserachs; Manuel Vázquez; Peter Coughtry (1966). Costa Brava show. Editorial Kairós. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  4. ^ Salvador Pániker (1970). Conversaciones en Cataluña. Editorial Kairós. GGKEY:6PKZDBY98G0. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  5. ^ José Ignacio López Soria; Néstor Tenorio Requejo (2001). Mario Vargas Llosa : el fuego de la literatura. Artedea. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  6. ^ Salvador Pániker (1971). Conversaciones en Madrid. Editorial Kairós. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  7. ^ Antonio Bonet Correa (1978). Andalucía barroca: arquitectura y urbanismo. Ediciones Polígrafa. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  8. ^ Carlos Barral; Xavier Miserachs (1982). Catalunya des del mar: pel car de fora. Edicions 62. ISBN 978-84-297-1917-8. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  9. ^ Josep M. Espinàs (1986). Aprendre a conviure: reflexions sobre civilitat. La Campana. ISBN 978-84-86491-01-7. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  10. ^ Carlos Barral; Xavier Miserachs; Josep Maria Ainaud (1985). Catalunya a vol d'ocell. Edicions 62. ISBN 978-84-297-2374-8. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  11. ^ Montserrat Roig; Xavier Miserachs (1987). Barcelona a vol d'ocell. Edicions 62. ISBN 978-84-297-2706-7. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  12. ^ Xavier Febrés; Xavier Miserachs (1988). Passeig de mar: la costa catalana del delta de l'Ebre a Cotlliure. Plaza & Janés. ISBN 978-84-01-60750-9. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  13. ^ Moix, Ana María; Moix, Terenci (1988). Els Barcelonins. Edicions 62. ISBN 978-84-297-2874-3. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  14. ^ Núñez, Joana; Pradas, Rafael; Miserachs, Xavier (1988). Les Barcelones del món. Caixa de Barcelona. ISBN 978-84-7580-607-5. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  15. ^ Febrés, Xavier; Miserachs, Xavier; Sala, Mercè (1990). Metros i metròpolis. TMB. ISBN 978-84-7794-127-9. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  16. ^ Freixa, Ferran; Miserachs, Xavier; Gran Teatre del Liceu (1990). Gran Teatre del Liceu. Gran Teatre del Liceu. Consorci, Caixa d'Estalvis i Pensions de Barcelona. Consorci del Gran Teatre del Liceu. ISBN 978-84-85905-77-5. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  17. ^ Xavier Miserachs; Ramon Pla i Arxé (1992). El Gran Teatre del Liceu en Sevilla. L'Avenç. ISBN 978-84-85905-91-1. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
  18. ^ Antoni Puigverd; Xavier Miserachs (1996). L'Empordà: llibre de meravelles. Edicions 62. ISBN 978-84-297-4203-9. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  19. ^ Joan Barril; Toni Catany (1942-) (1995). Ciutat Vella: visions des d'una passió. Lunwerg. ISBN 978-84-7782-332-2. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  20. ^ Xavier Miserachs (1998). Fulls de contactes: memòries. Edicions 62. ISBN 978-84-297-4366-1. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  21. ^ Joan Domènech i Moner (September 1998). Girona, a quatre vents. Lunwerg Editores. ISBN 978-84-7782-534-0. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  22. ^ Xavier Miserachs (1 September 1998). Criterio fotográfico: notas para un curso de fotografía. Omega. ISBN 978-84-282-1133-8. Retrieved 2011-10-19.
  23. ^ Pàniker, Salvador (2004). Conversaciones en Madrid y en Cataluña (in Spanish). Fotos:Xavier Miserachs. Editorial Kairós. ISBN 978-84-7245-569-6. Retrieved 2011-10-19..
  24. ^ Regàs, Rosa (2006). Memòries de la Costa Brava. Fotos:Xavier Miserachs. Lupita Books..
  25. ^ a b "Exposiciones Colectivas de Ricard Terré". Web oficial de Ricard Terré (in Spanish). 2011. Retrieved 23 Dec 2015.
  26. ^ a b c d Miserachs, Xavier. 1 segon i 25 centèsimes, pàg 114. ISBN 84-7664-362-4.
  27. ^ Lamalla.cat, ed. (7 March 2000). "El fotoperiodisme de Miserachs, un luxe a exposició". Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  28. ^ Radio Praha, ed. (11 Feb 2006). "Barcelona de Xavier Miserachs por primera vez en Praga" (in Spanish). Retrieved 30 April 2011.
  29. ^ Fundació "la Caixa", ed. (2007). "Exhibit's file". Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  30. ^ "En clave de mujer". 2008. Retrieved 2011-04-30.
  31. ^ Xavier Miserachs Archive - MACBA Archived January 18, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ Archivo - Xavier Miserachs

External links[edit]