Museography - Hernán Díaz Revealed: portraits, sessions and contact sheets


In 2012, as part of its cultural policy, the Banco de la República acquired a selection of 1000 images in both printed and digital copies from the archive of Hernán Díaz, one of the most prominent photographers of the second half of the 20th century. This selection represents a significant sample of Díaz's work and includes unique records of public figures, artists, and intellectuals, positioning Díaz as the quintessential portraitist of his time in Colombia.

Díaz, who approached photography from a young age, practiced a refined and cultured style of photography, marked by the undeniable influence of Americans Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, as well as the artistic richness of the images by French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Díaz's work undoubtedly marked a turning point in the country's photography. Not only was he one of the most prolific photographers of his time, but he also elevated photography to an artistic level within the Colombian landscape.

In Colombia, Hernán Díaz's name is contemporary with that of Leo Matiz, Nereo López, and Manuel H, photographers whose works are also part of the Luis Ángel Arango Library collection. Like them, Díaz captured through his lens the testimonies of the Colombian society of the 20th century, including past presidents and renowned figures from the nation's political and economic life.

This exhibition includes a select group of Díaz's photographs, among them, some resulting from sessions with artists and iconic personalities of modernity in Colombia; a selection of photos of Cartagena, a city from which he left a unique visual testimony, and photographs of landscapes and industries, highlighting his interest in the environment.

This selection of images, some unpublished, reveals a lesser-known Díaz: the photographer who carefully constructs his own artist identity from the decision to select certain photos for publication and others to keep 'hidden' in his archives. For this reason, the contact sheets are presented, showing, with their markings and graphisms, the creative process through which Díaz approached the image.

In sum, Hernán Díaz's work is a privileged source both for its aesthetic value and its historical significance. The Banco de la República is pleased to present the exhibition Hernán Díaz Revealed: Portraits, Sessions, and Contact Sheets, a collection that brings together about eighty of the best photographs by this author.

José Darío Uribe
General Manager
Banco de la República

Publication date: Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Last update date: Friday, November 25, 2022

Project name
Museography - Hernán Díaz Revealed: portraits, sessions and contact sheets
Bogotá | Colombia | Luis Angel Arango Library