Selected as one of the Best Books of 2014 by John Gossage, Jeffrey Ladd, Martin Parr, WassinkLundgren, Tom Claxton, Nicoló Degiorgis
The first Trepat factory opened in Tàrrega, in the province of Lleida, in 1914. Its founder and owner Josef Trepat Galceran (1881-1974) was an intelligent and enterprising man, who perceived that the agricultural machinery then coming into use was designed to operate on large expenses of flat land and poorly suited to the small plots of rugged terrain that predominated in the Catalan countryside. This insight led him to design and produce more functional machines and tools. Success was not slow in coming.
In private life Josef Trepat was a simple, unassuming man. A lover of quality and innovation, his business trips brought him into contact with the artistic circles of the great European capitals. This cultural elite sponsored the advanced forms of design and graphic communication that emerged after World War I, in which photography played a key role. It was in this way that Trepat became familiar with the names of photographers like Albert Renger-Patzsch, Germaine Krull, Man Ray, László Moholy-Nagy, Alexander Rodchenko, Paul Outerbridge, Andreas Feininger, Walker Evans and, a good deal later, Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Josef Trepat saw that commissioning work from some of these photographers would be a highly effective strategy for associating his products with international modernity. The photographers, for their part, responded to Trepat’s faith in them and the almost unlimited creative freedom he accorded them by producing images that now rank among the treasures of photographic modernism. The Trepat Collection encompasses the whole spectrum of twentieth-century sensibilities, and invites us to revisit Cubism, Futurism, New Objectivity, Surrealism, Constructivism, Suprematism, Precisionism, and the history of social documentation.