Ferran Freixa Archive

The photographer Ferran Freixa. © Carme Masia

The photographic work of Ferran Freixa i Pintó (Barcelona, ​​1950- Sant Vicenç de Montalt 2021), considered a benchmark of subjective documentary, is represented, together with his heirs, by the Photographic Social Vision Foundation.

Freixa is an indispensable author for contemporary creative photography. Throughout his career, it is surprising to observe how his images maintain an absolute authorial character, an aesthetic personality with a classic and elegant air, with compositional balance and attention to detail, which remains in all the themes that he was passionate about: the Mediterranean, the ruin and the erosion of cultural heritage, classical architectural monumentality, nature that recovers seized spaces, or the beauty of everyday objects in hotels and restaurants. He had a singular, melancholic and lyrical gaze, he knew how to visualize the passage of time and the memory of things.

“My world revolves around the suggestion, the insinuation. What I have always sought is poetry”. Ferran Freixa


From graphic design to architecture and interior design photography


In 1973, Ferran Freixa began to use photography as his new language of artistic expression. After studying drawing and painting in the mid-1960s, he began self-taught to take photographs and ended up opening his first photography and graphic design studio, specializing above all in advertising and fashion. In 1975, he met Josep Rigol, also a photographer, with whom he shared a professional studio for twenty-five years, during which they developed their artistic careers, exhibiting together and traveling around Europe to visit festivals and personally meet the great masters of photography.

© Ferran Freixa


Since 1978, he has specialized in architecture and interior design photography, collaborating with the best professionals and disseminating his work in national and international publications. His activity in this field influenced his most personal photographic work from the beginning, both formally and thematically. During the second half of the 1970s, a true revolution in photography began in Barcelona, ​​which would be known as “creative”. In this context, Freixa begins to consolidate a particular look that uses black and white to fit, in an impeccable way, the frontality, the balance in the composition, the precision and the importance of light in the construction of the image. . His most common theme is everyday objects, to which he usually provides particular atmospheres through dim lights.

Photographing time with lights and shadows


His photographs are an extraordinary testament to capturing and enhancing urban cultural heritage before it disappears. A series on historic shops in Barcelona is one of his best-known works, made up of photographs of classic shop windows, taken between 1979 and the early 80s. “Many times, when I take pictures of these shops I remember my childhood, and it is very fond memories. That’s why I take those photos. I am afraid that they will be lost and I want to leave the record”, confessed Freixa. Restaurants, hotels or the Barcelona Boquería market are also present in his images of those years.

In addition, in the 80s, he carried out a series of works of an experimental nature. This is the case of the series made for the National Archaeological Museum of Tarragona in 1987, for which Freixa wanted to synthesize continent and content, photographing how some pieces of the collection were projected on the walls of the museum, so that the sculptures seem to be dematerialized, turned into luminous forms.

© Ferran Freixa

In 1990, he was commissioned to photograph the transformation of the Eixample neighborhood in Barcelona, ​​during the pre-Olympic phase for the magazine Quaderns of the Col·legi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya (Professional Association of Architects of Catalonia). And in 1994, he produced his famous series at the Gran Teatre del Liceu, entitled “El foc, darrer acte” (The fire, last act), where he captures the remains of this Barcelona theater after the fire that had just destroyed it (and which would later be rebuilt). The Liceu was not just an emblematic building for Freixa, but an emotional symbol of the city. It was not easy for him to obtain permission to enter to photograph the charred remains, but he succeeded, willing to approach it as an archaeological work. Its exhaustive documentation is unique, because Freixa was shooting while workers cleaned and restructured the interior of the theater. He was aware that “that image that he had just discovered would no longer exist the next day”.

In 2006, Freixa began another of his key works, on the former Catalan textile colonies. Document those ruins before they are destroyed or restored for new purposes. The images show an industrial heritage, after years in disuse, and make us reflect on the expiration of human creation, on the fate of productive constructions that at the time were a symbol of progress and that, now obsolete, are devoured by nature. An aesthetic experience, which shows the naked essence of the spaces in an intimate and poetic way, turning them into an allegory of the passage of time.

The spirit of this series is somehow combined with the one from the early 80s on emblematic places in Barcelona, ​​when Freixa portrayed the historic Marsella bar in the Raval neighborhood in 2013.

After having always lived in Barcelona city, Freixa decided to move in 2014 to the family home in Sant Vicenç de Montalt, in El Maresme region. There he began to photograph spaces in the area such as the Hotel Estrac, then recently closed, whose interiors still intact in the author’s images speak of a recent past, which seems remote and irretrievable. Since then, the artist has focused his gaze on the privacy of his new home and his immediate surroundings, delving into an extremely refined work, which draws the environments precisely, in a symphony of light and shadow, with an autobiographical background.


The legacy of Ferran Freixa


The photographer passed away in June 2021. And in 2022, his family and close friends, in collaboration with the Photographic Foundation, honored him with the retrospective exhibition “Ferran Freixa, la luz presente (Ferran Freixa, the present light), which opens on April 22 at the Boca Museum from Calvari in Benidorm.

© Ferran Freixa

Freixa is one of the greatest exponents of the generation of photographers of the seventies, which represented a second avant-garde, characterized especially by its creative contributions to documentary photography. In the exhibition anthologies of his work, the intimate profile of his documentary art is usually highlighted.

His images have been selected for numerous collective exhibitions of contemporary Spanish photography held in cities such as New York, Tucson, Mexico, London and Paris, as well as in the traveling exhibition “Cuatro Direcciones: 1970-1990” (Four Directions: 1970-1990). And among his numerous solo exhibitions, it is worth noting the extensive retrospective “Ferran Freixa. Fotografía 1973-2013”, at the Center d’Art Tecla Sala (L’Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona). In addition, his work is part of important collections, both public and private. The MNAC, the IVAM, the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, or the National Library of France are examples of the institutions that treasure Freixa’s work.

Parts of this text have been extracted from the introductory text for “Ferran Freixa. The present light” and from “The triumph of the personal gaze”, text by Josep Rigol for the catalog of the retrospective held in Tecla Sala during the life of Ferran Freixa.

Information has also been collected on the websites of Artium, Capgròs, Fundació Palau and Revela’t.



Discover the photographs for sale from the Ferran Freixa Archive


  • Analogue copies made by hand, from the original negatives, and numbered.
  • Black and white print in gelatin silver on baryta paper and selenium bath.
  • Editions limited to 20, numbered and certified by the Ferran Freixa Archive legacy.
  • Sizes 30 x 40 cm and 50 x 50 cm.

In the download icon you will find below we offer you the catalog with a selection of his work for sale:


To access more of Ferran Freixa’s work, get more details or make an appointment to see the copies, contact: imma.cortes@fundacionpsv.org or call 93 217 36 63.

  • © Ferran Freixa
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A sample from the Ferran Freixa Archive



Individual exhibitions:



L’atessa dell’attimo. MetroQuality, Milano (Itàlia)./ Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milano Design Week



Ferran Freixa. La luz presente. Museu Boca del Calvari, Benidorm (Alicante)



Odysseys. Revela’t Analogue Photography Festival. Vilassar de Dalt, Barcelona.

Silver Pin, Analogue Photography Festival Revela’t per Odysseys. Vilassar de Dalt, Barcelona.



Comme le temps passe. PhotoMed, Mediterranean Photography Festival. Sanary-sur-mer (France).



HARMONIES, photographies et tirages d’époque. Tagomago Gallery. Paris (France).

Ferran Freixa. Fotografia 1973-2013. Centre d’Art Tecla Sala. Hospitalet de Llobregat, Barcelona.



La vitrina del fotògraf. Palau Robert, Barcelona.



Galerie du Château d’Eau. Toulouse (France).



Ferran Freixa, 1977-1994. Photo gallery Railowsky. Valencia.



Ferran Freixa 1977-1994. Exhibition hall of Canal de Isabel II. Madrid.

Gran Teatre del Liceu. El foc, darrer acte. Palau de la Virreina, Primavera Fotogràfica 1996. Barcelona.

Gran Teatre del Liceu. El foc, darrer acte, Lux Golden Award; Architecture, for the photographs and the publication.



Círculo de Bellas Artes, III Internacional Biennial, Fotonoviembre, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.



Ferran Freixa 1977-1994. Salamanca University. Salamanca.



Los libros más bellos del mundo, Bronze medal. International Fair of Leipzig, Germany.



Carmen, Ballet Antonio Gades, LAUS Trophy from the Association of Graphic Designers for the Promotion of Decorative Arts (ADG-FAD). Barcelona.

Honorable mention on Catalan Literature Awards, Generalitat de Catalunya.

Prize for the Best Edited Book. Ministry of Culture, Madrid.



Berner Photo-Galerie, Berna (Switzerland).

Agathe Gaillard Gallery, París (France).



El Setze Gallery, Martorell.



Spectrum-Canon Gallery, Girona.



Demi-Teinte Gallery, Paris (France).



Atelier-Galerie de Photographie, Ais de Provença (France).



Spectrum-Canon Gallery, Barcelona.

Il Diaframma-Canon Gallery, Milà (Italy).


Collective exhibitions:


Fotografies com a espai públic. Arts Santa Mònica. Nacional Collection of Photography, Generalitat de Catalunya, Barcelona.



La Fotografia “Creativa” a Catalunya (1973-1982). La Virreina, City ​​Hall of Barcelona.



Centre Internacional de Fotografia de Barcelona (1978-1983). Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Barcelona.



ARCO 2011, Raíña Lupa Gallery, Madrid.



Itinerarios afines, 10 fotógrafos españoles. Millî Reasürans Sanat Galerisi. Istanbul (Turkey).

Itinerarios afines, 10 fotógrafos españoles. Instituto Cervantes, traveling exhibition in Dublin, Athens, Budapest, Bucharest.



Charming Beijing. Beijing International Photography Festival. Beijing (China).

Arxiu universal. La condició del document i la utopia fotogràfica moderna. Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. Barcelona.



Itinerarios afines, 10 fotógrafos españoles. Guandong Museum of Art, Guangzhou Photography Biennial, Guangzhou (China); traveling through several cities in China.

Momentos estelares. La fotografía en el siglo xx. Círculo de Bellas Artes, Sala Canal de Isabel II, Madrid.



En las ciudades. Fotografía urbana en los fondos de la Fundación Foto Colectania. Exhibition hall on Canal de Isabel II, PhotoEspaña. Madrid.

La imatge inquieta. 20 anys de la Fotogaleria Railowsky. Photo Gallery Railowsky – Universitat de València. Valencia.



Retrato de un símbolo. Puerta de Europa. Caja Madrid, organized exhibition by La Fábrica, Madrid.

Llibres, 15 anys de fotogaleria. Photo gallery Railowsky. Valencia.



Desde mi ventana. Galeria Railowsky, Valencia; traveling by Universitat de Salamanca, Salamanca, and Community Center Can Basté, Barcelona.

Encontros de Fotografia. Exhibition Gallery of the Anthropological Museum of the University of Coimbra, EUROPA project, Coimbra (Portugal).



Imatges, fotografia catalana. Centre d’Art Santa Mònica. Primavera Fotogràfica 1996, Barcelona.

30 autors. Sala Marc 3, FOTOSÍ. Barcelona.



Spanish Photography. The Special Photographers Company, London (United Kingdom).



Paysages lieux et non-lieux. Galerie Nei Liicht, Düdelange (Luxembourg).

Luz y tiempo. Colección fotográfica formada por Manuel Álvarez Bravo para la Fundación Cultural Televisa, A.C. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City (Mexico).



Musa Museu, fotògrafs contemporanis als museus de Barcelona. Palau de la Virreina, Primavera Fotogràfica 1992, Barcelona.



Escenarios de la guerra. Exhibition hall on Canal de Isabel II, Madrid.



La fotografía en el museo. Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo, Madrid.

Douarnenez’86, 9th National Minorities Film Festival, Douarnenez (France).



Natures mortes. Galerie Arpa / Entrepôt Laine, Bordeaux city (France).



Fotografia mediterrània, Barcelona.

La ruïna. Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona.



Place and Identity in the European Photography. Nikon Gallery, Zuric (Switzerland). Itinerant per Rimini i Pordenone (Italy).

L’architecture: sujet, objet ou prétexte?, itinerant per Agen, Baiona i Bordeus (France).

259 Imágenes. Fotografía actual en España. Círculo de Bellas Artes, Madrid.



8 photographes en Catalogne. Galeries FNAC, Paris (France).

Fotografi spagnoli contemporanei. Castello Svevo, Termoli (Italy).

Galeria Camera Obscura, Stockholm (Sweden).



Spanish Photography. Night Gallery, London (United Kingdom).

Fotografía contemporánea española. Center for Creative Photography, Santa Fe (USA).

Canon Photo Gallery, Geneva (Switzerland).



Spanish Photography. Spain Art Gallery, New York (USA).



Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Fribourg, II International Triennial of Photography, Friburg (Switzerland).



Photographie d’architecture. Chez Rouve/Vinci 1840. Paris (France).



COLLECTIONS with the work of Ferran Freixa

Joan Miró Foundation, Barcelona.

Museo Español de Arte Contemporáneo, Madrid.

Cultural Televisa Foundation, Manuel Álvarez Bravo collection, Mexico city (Mexico).

Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris (France).

Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Friburg (Switzerland).

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.

Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca.

MNAC, Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona.

MACBA, Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona.