Adriana Lestido

Mujes Presas, 1991 © Adriana Lestido



born 1955 in Buenos Aires, lives and works in Buenos Aires Adriana. Lestido has acquired a reputation as one of Argentina’s most prolific artists.
In 1979, she began to study photography, from 1982 to 1995 she worked as a photo-reporter for the daily newspapers La Voz and Página 12 as well as the news agency DyN. Among her photographic projects were El amor (Love, 1992-2005), Madres e hijas (Mothers and Daughters, 1995-1998), Mujeres presas (Imprisoned Women, 1991-1992), Madres adolescentes (Teenage Mothers, 1988-1990), and Hospital Infanto-Juvenil (Children’s Hospital, 1986-1988). As from 1995, she has developed a teaching practice to complement her artistic output, running photo workshops in Argentina and Mexico. She was invited take part in the Violence/Silence project organized by Pulse (South Africa) and Trama (Argentina) which took place in Durban and Nieubethesda, South Africa in 2002. On many occasions, she has been summoned as a curator. In 2004 Lestido was invited to be a member of the jury at the New Journalism Foundation in Cartagena, Colombia, and in 2005 she visited London as a guest of the British Council to be a member of the jury for the competition “The Fair View”.

In 2007 she organized a photography workshop at the women’s prison in Ezeiza, Argentina. Since 2005, Adriana Lestido has been participating in the publication of Dulce Equis Negra magazine and in the books of the Argentinian Collection of Photographers. A retrospective of her work has been shown at the Photo España in Madrid (June 9th-July 25th 2010, Her work has also been presented at a collective Argentina show on September 21st, 2010 at CLAIR Gallery in Munich and in November in Berlin.

Adriana Lestido is represented by CLAIR. „I’ve spent many years looking, seeing and revealing what I see through my images. In 1979, photography or who knows what, took me as its medium and here we are, communicating through images. It makes sense to me because it’s my need. Yet, maybe, the time has come to go further, to go backwards, and forwards, to understand it all, and to empty myself once again. There is a thread that runs through my life. I wish to reveal the thread which runs through my life’s work. The meaning of my life, perhaps. The root of it all.“ A.L. If anything can be said about the photographs of Lestido, it is that they give a specific and personal view. They are not simple traces of reality, not even translations of a world subjected to the scrutiny of the camera. They are real sense constructions, the result of a voluntary and perfectly defined closeness regarding certain issues, subjects and situations the artist wants us to consider. Transcending the indicative quality of photography – the one that reduces photography as depending on an exterior reality – the artist frames her photographs not only materially but also conceptually.
Lestido pictures, above all, the feminine universe. But instead of focusing on that universe per se, she focuses on the world of relations, either with the social environment, loves, or the relations with power. Nothing in her images is either abstract or categorical. She decides to explore love, she looks for the specific relationship between two people, either mother and daughter or prison mates. If her interest is maternity, once again she keeps from presenting it as something anonymous and universal. Instead, she offers us a different perspective whether it is a captive mother, an adolescent or a woman in the prime of life. It is not just by chance, therefore, her models are called Marie and Estella, Alma and Maura, Mater and Nana… Pinpointing them allows her to escape from stereotype. Her photographs show concrete lives through concrete images and as such reject uniformity that has slowly settled the medium in social usage.

Lestido takes direct photography. She prefers to portrait her characters in their environment, in their daily activities, in their vital spaces, avoiding props and forced posing. Her camera is alert to small gestures, involuntary, those moments when her presence has completely disappeared from those being photographed. She resorts to black and white, perhaps not only because this has been frequently identified with reality but also because the events she records do not need any additional cosmetics. Her serial work makes it possible to record the processes that overlap individuality, the moments captured in each shot. In the hiatus between each photograph and the series that surrounds it, there is an appeal to time, memory and the viewer. To the absent time, that speaks about the fleetness of life, to the memory that must reconstruct the loss, and to the viewer led to recreate the ellipsis with their own emotional legacy. Excerpt from: Rodrigo Alonso Licenciate in Arts“ (UBA)

AWARDS | Recognitions

Medalla del Bicentenario (Bicentennial Medal), Buenos Aires, 2010.
Personalidad Destacada de la Cultura. (Notable Cultural Figure) Legislatura de B.A., 2010.
Honor Prize of the Visual Arts National Fair, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2009
Life Achievement Award, Argentine Art Critics Association, Buenos Aires 2009
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Grant (USA),1995
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, subsidy for the publication, (USA), 2003
Hasselblad Fellowship (Goteborg, Sweden),1991
Mother Jones Prize (San Francisco, USA), 1997
Leonardo Prize. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Argentina), 1998
Konex Prize (Argentina), 2002
Subsidy for creation. Fondo Metropolitano de las Artes. Buenos Aires 2007
La Nacion Newspaper First Prize (Argentina), 1988
Human Rights First Prize, APDH (Argentina),1983

Solo Shows
2013 Adriana Lestido. Fotografías 1979/2007. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina
2012 Mujeres presas (Imprisoned Women). L’Été photographique de Lectoure, France.
2010 Amores Difíciles. Fotografías 1979/2007 (Difficult Loves, Photographs, 1979-2007). PHOTOESPAÑA2010. Casa de América, Madrid.
2009 Madres e hijas y el amor. Museo de Arte y Memoria. La Plata, Argentina.
2009 Lo Que Se Ve. Fotografías 1979/2007. Museo Provincial de Bellas Artes Rosa Galisteo de Podríguez. Ciudad de Santa Fe, Argentina.
2009 Lo Que Se Ve. Fotografías 1979/2007. Museo Castagnino+macro. Rosario, Santa Fe.
2008 Lo Que Se Ve. Fotografías 1979/2007. Centro Cultural Recoleta, Cronopios, Buenos Aires, Argentina. El amor. Centro Cultural de España, Santo Domingo, República Dominicana.
2007 Imprisoned women. Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden.
2005 Mujeres presas. Museo de Arte y Memoria. La Plata, Argentina. 2003 Madres e hijas. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2001 Madres e hijas, histórias de máes e filhas. SESC. San Pablo, Brazil. 2000 Amores difíciles, historias de madres e hijas. Centro Cultural Parque España. Rosario, Argentina.
1999 Amores difíciles, historias de madres e hijas. Centro Cultual Recoleta. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Amores difíciles, historias de madres e hijas. Centro Fotográfico Alvarez Bravo. Oaxaca, México.
1998 Amores difíciles, historias de madres e hijas. Centro de la Imagen. México DF. Difficult loves, stories of mothers and daughters. McDonough Museum. Ohio, USA. Difficult loves, stories of mothers and daughters. The Studio Gallery. San Francisco, USA. Mor och dotter. Kulturhuset. Estocolmo, Sweden.
1996 Mujeres presas con sus hijos. Museo Mural Diego Rivera. Mexico DF.
1994 Mujeres presas con sus hijos. Goethe Institute. Córdoba, Argentina.
1993 Mujeres presas con sus hijos. Fotogalería Teatro San Martín. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mujeres presas con sus hijos. Centro Cultural Recoleta. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Adolescent mothers. Theatre Workshop. Fotofeis, Edinburgh, Scotland. Madres adolescentes. Museo de Bellas Artes Pompeo Boggio. Chivilcoy, Argentina. Madres adolescentes. Fotogalería Argentina, Centro Cultural Santa Fé. Santa Fé, Argentina.
1992 Adolescent mothers. The Art Institute of Houston. Fotofest, Houston, U
1990 Madres adolescentes. Fotogalería Teatro San Martín. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1988 Hospital Infanto-Juvenil. Centro Cultural Malvinas. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1986 Adriana Lestido. Centro Cultural Neuquen. Neuquen, Argentina. Adriana Lestido. Centro Cultural Malvinas. Buenos Aires, Argentina

Group Shows
2013AMERICA LATINA Photographies 1960 – 2013. Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, France.
2013 4F. Bosch/Grossman/Lestido/Pintor. Unpublished photographs. Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2012 Sur Polar IV. Museo del Tigre. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2011 Between two worlds: A window onto contemporary photography from Latin America, Edel Assanti Project Space. London, UK.
2011 Fotografía Argentina. Colección Rabobank. Museo de Arte Moderno. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2011 Clair de coeur. ARTPARIS2011. Paris, France.
2010 Imágenes e historia, Argentina 1848-2010. Fundación MAPFRE. Centro Culural Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2010 Identidad. Centro Fotográfico Manuel Alvarez Bravo. Oaxaca, Mexico.
2010 Una mirada del sur. Museo Zorrilla. Montevideo, Uruguay.
2009 Nosotros Los Otros. Centro Cultural Recoleta. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2010 Argentine now. °CLAIR, Munich and Markgrafenstr, Berlín, Germany
2010 Adriana Lestido et Emily Schiffer. Deux femmes, deux regards, deux Amériques, Galerie Duboys. ParisPhoto. Paris, France.
2009 Huésped. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina
2009 Ver. VVV Gallery. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2009 VVV Gallery in ArteBA. Predio ferial de Palermo. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2008 BAPhoto08. Palais de Glace. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2007 El Retrato. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2006 Vu by Robert Delpire. Gallerie Vu. París, France. 80 + 80 photo_ grafirme. Galerie Anatome y Galerie Vu. París, France. La vida de un día. Museo Castagnino+macro. Rosario, Argentina. Obsesiones. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2005 Photographes Argentis Concernés. Centre Regional de la Photograhpie Nord Pas-de-Calais, France. Bonjour Les Enfants! L’Hotel de Ville. Douchy. Les.Mines, France.
2004 Arte Argentino Contemporáneo, Museo Castagnino+macro, Rosario, Argentina. Memoria y Sociedad. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2003 Fotografía argentina. Museé de la Photographie. Charleroi, Belgium. El Arte de la Fotografía: Argentina 1990/2003. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes anexo Montserrat. Buenos Aires, Argentina. La fotografia in cinque domande. Galleria Fnac. Milan, Italia / Galeria Vu. París, France.
2002 Silence. Ibis Art Centre. Nieu Bethesda, South Africa. Violence. NSA Gallery. Durban, South Africa.
2000 Myths, Drems and Realities in Argentine Contemporary Photography. La Maison de l’Amerique Latine. Paris, France
1999 ICP. New York, USA
1997 Houston Center for Photography.Houston, USA
1996 Museo de Arte Moderno. Buenos Aires, Argentina. I Bienal de Arte de Buenos Aires. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina. II Bienal de Artes Visuales de Mercosur. Porto Alegre, Brazil. Inferno & Paradiso. BildMuseet. Umea, Sweden. Fotografías en el Museo: Nuevas obras. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
1998 Nicht nur Tango. Kulturhaus Lateinamerika. Colonia, Germany. Du témoignage à l’engagement. Maison Doisneau. Gentilly, France. Fotografía Argentina Actual, Los Noventa. Galería de Arte Contemporáneo Sol del Río. Antigua, Guatemala. 100 Años de Fotografía Argentina. Shadai Gallery. Tokyo, Japón
1995 Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires / Queens College Art Center, CUNY. New York, USA.
1997 Fotokunst Fra Latinamerica. Kvindermuseet. Denmark. Otro Mirar, Arte Argentino Contemporáneo. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. Buenos Aires, Argentina / Centre d’art Santa Mónica. Barcelona, Spain.
1996 Nicht Nur Tango – Argentinische Fotografie. Fotogalerie Kulturamt Friedrichshain. Berlin, Germany.
1995 Mundos Ocultos, Fotografía Argentina Contemporánea. Museo de Bellas Artes. Caracas. Venezuela.
1995 Con Ojos de Mujer, Foro sobre la Mujer, Beijing 95. Huairou, China.
1994 En Face. Hasselblad Center. Göteborg, Sweden
1993. Photographs from the Hasselblad Center Collection. Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden.

Rabobank collection, Argentina.
Anna Gamazo de Abelló collection, España.
Private Collections in Argentina, the USA, Germany, Spain and France.
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Argentina.
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Castagnino+macro. Rosario, Argentina.
Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, USA.
Museum of Fine Arts, Caracas, Venezuela.
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France.
Chateau d’eau, Toulouse, France.
Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden.
Centre Régional de la Photographie Nord Pas-de-Calais, France.
Private collections in Argentina, USA and France.


Lo Que Se Ve (What Can Be Seen). Antologhy. Capital Intelectual, with the support of Mecenazgo Cultural of the City of Buenos Aires, texts by Marta Dillon and María de los Ángeles González. Madrid 2012
La Obra (The Work). Capital Intelectual, prologue Juan Forn. Madrid 2011.
Interior. Capital Intelectual, prologue Guillermo Saccomanno. Madrid 2010.
Urbes Mutantes. Latin American Photography. Texts by Alexis Fabry and María Wills. Editorial RM Verlag SL, Barcelona, España.
Fotografía Argentina. (Argentine Photography) Colección Rabobank. Rabotrading Argentina, Buenos Aires 2011.
Identidad. (Identity) Ediciones Larivière. Sponsored by the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores, Comercio Internacional y Culto. Buenos Aires 2010.
Mujeres Presas (Imprisoned Women). Edition by Colección Fotógrafos Argentinos. Prologue by Guillermo Saccomanno, Buenos Aires 2001, reprint 2008.
Madres e hijas (Mothers and daughters). La Azotea Editorial, with the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Publishing Subsidy. Texts by Sara Facio and Marta Dillon, Buenos Aires 2003.
Fotografía Latinoamericana, a selection (1895 > 2008). Colección Anna Gamazo de Abelló. Editorial RM. S.A. DE C.V., México DF 2008.
Photo Poche, agence VU’ galerie. Selected by Robert Delpire. Texts Christian Caujolle. Edition by Centrre National de la Photographie. Paris 2006.
Dulce Equis Negra, El Mar. Buenos Aires 2008.
Urban Photography in Argentina. Nine Artists of the Post-dictatorship Era, David William Foster, editado por McFarland & Company Inc., USA 2007
80 + 80 photo_ grafisme. Filigranes Editions / Aman Iman Créations. Paris 2006.
treinta ejercicios de memoria. A 30 años del golpe. Edition by Ministerio de Educación, Ciencia y Tecnología de la Nación Argentina. Buenos Aires 2006.
Arte Argentino Contemporáneo. Edition by Museo Castagnino. Rosario 2004.
La fotografia in cinque domande. Edition by Gruppo Credito Valtellinese, Silvana Editoriale. Milán, Italy 2003.
Mapas abiertos. Fotografía latinoamericana 1991-2002. Lunwerg Editores. Barcelona, 2003.
Visiones de un Mito. Un Siglo de Fotografía en Argentina. Musée de la Photographie. Charleroi, Belgium 2003.
The Journal of Contemporary Photography, Edición John Wood, Leo & Wolfe Photography Inc. Massachusetts, USA 2000.
Adriana Lestido. Un nuevo simbolismo, by magazine buenos aires bellas artes nº 2. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Universidad de Palermo, CAYC, Buenos Aires 1999.
Inferno and Paradiso, selected by Alfredo Jaar, edición Bild Museet, Sweden, 1999.
Xposeptember. Selected Carl Heideken. Edition by Stockhom Fotofestival, Sweden 1998
Otro Mirar, Arte Contemporáneo Argentino. Selected by María Helguera. Edition by Cultura Generalitá de Catalunya. Barcelona, Spain 1997.
Fotografía Argentina Actual Dos. Selected and text by Sara Facio. La Azotea Editorial. Buenos Aires 1996.
La Fotografía en la Argentina, Selected and text by Sara Facio. La Azotea Editorial. Buenos Aires 1995.
Las Cautivas, Text by Martín Caparrós. From Página 30. Buenos Aires 1992.
Democracia vigilada. Fotógrafos argentinos, selected by Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, prologue by Miguel Bonasso, edtition by Fondo Cultura Económica, México 1988.
Mujeres Presas con sus hijos, at Selected by Pedro Meyer.