NYTimes - Graciela Iturbide and Manuel Álvarez Bravo surrealist themes discussed by Teju Cole

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Photography critic and author Teju Cole discusses the surrealist themes in the work of Mexican photographers Graciela Iturbide and Manuel Álvarez Bravo for the Sunday 23 October print magazine of the New York Times.

Graciela Iturbide, Jueves Santo, Juchitán, Oaxaca, 1986

"What makes an image surreal is not the artful crafting of illusion but the eruption of the accidental into the everyday.

Look at the photograph by Graciela Iturbide of a small child held on someone’s lap. The child is a boy, and the person holding him is his older sister. What is the first impression the photograph gives? It isn’t one of sweetness or innocence, but rather of a strangeness that is difficult to identify. The boy’s eyes are closed. His head is thrown back at what could be read as an unnatural angle, but could just as well be read as perfectly natural. Something seems not quite right. Is he sick? The composition recalls paintings or sculptures of the Pietà, where the Madonna carries the dead Christ. But here, the girl is too small, too fragile, to be a mother, and that peculiarity of scale is odd, too."

Manuel Álvarez Bravo, c. 1940's

"This talent for finding the surreal in the banal is one of the many ways in which Iturbide is influenced by Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002), her teacher and mentor. Drawing on the Mexican traditions that confront death, they both created densely poetic images. Look, for example, at Bravo’s photograph of a fallen sheet, made in the 1940s. By chance or by design, a white cloth rests on a tiled floor. This simple subject opens up a cascade of associations: the cloth looks like a shroud; its folds and bends appear to trace the contours of a human body; its placement on the ground makes you think of a corpse. This picture, an ancestor to the one Hernandez posted on Instagram, echoes another by Bravo, “Striking Worker, Assassinated” (1934), which shows a union leader lying in the street with a bloodied face moments after he was murdered. But what was raw photojournalistic reportage in the earlier picture is transformed into a different kind of strength in Bravo’s photograph of the fallen sheet. The dead man is an instance of death, but the sheet on the floor becomes Death itself."


Read the beautiful piece on nytimes.com and pick up a printed copy of the Sunday paper on 23 October, 2016.

Alicia Eler reviews HE/SHE/THEY for Aperture

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Alicia Eler writes, "Spanning over eighty years of photographs, an exhibition explores the gender non-conforming potential of the word 'they.'

Yasumasa Morimura, Jane Fonda 5 (Barbarella), 1995  © the artist and courtesy ROSEGALLERY

Lise Sarfati, Malaïka #7, Corner 7th Street and Spring, from the series On Hollywood, 2010  © the artist and courtesy ROSEGALLERY

The singular gender-neutral pronoun “they” was named word of the year in 2016. Judging from the social and historical depth of photography and archival imagery in the exhibition He/She/They, currently on view at ROSEGALLERY, which includes work by more than fifteen artists, it’s crazy to think that it took this long to get American culture at large to recognize life outside the gender binary. Ranging from the early 1930s to the present, the works exhibit a wide array of bodies, locations, gazes, and socioeconomic perspectives, and consider the intersectional influence of race and class on notions of gender.

Since this exhibition is presented in Los Angeles, Lise Sarfati’s Malaïka #7, Corner 7th Street and Spring from the series On Hollywood (2010), is appropriately local and captures a woman trying to make it in the entertainment industry. In this startling photograph, a young woman appears forlorn, perhaps returning from an audition, unsure of what to do next. The actress’s face, and the low-angle perspective, is reminiscent of Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Still #21 (1978), in which a young woman, who could be any (white) woman, looks intently beyond the frame, with an imposing block of skyscrapers forming the background. Marrying visual art and Hollywood icons, her dress and hairstyle reference Marilyn Monroe and the “dumb blonde” archetype.

Graciela Iturbide, Carnaval, Tlaxcala, Mexico, 1974  © the artist and courtesy ROSEGALLERY

...Other works in the show focus less on the performance of gender, and more on people who defy normative gender distinctions. Nineteenth-century photographs depict Native American “two-spirit” individuals—those who participate in gender roles not assigned to their sex—but the accompanying text explains that intersex, androgynous, and gender non-conforming people could be held in high regard outside of Eurocentric, heteronormative cultures. In photographs by Mexican artist Graciela Iturbide, Magnolia, who identified as Muxe (Zapotec for homosexual and “genderqueer”), poses for the camera wearing a dress and sombrero, a traditionally male accessory.

He/She/They leans heavily on the visual language of portraiture, which might suggest a desire for authenticity in documentation, in contrast to much of the dynamic content found online, where self-expression by social media sensations, celebrities, and everyday people appears to be constantly evolving. The photographs in this show offer a fixed moment in time, declarative and definitive, but also remain open to the many shades of identity, the gender non-conforming potential of the word “they.”

Alicia Eler is a journalist based in Los Angeles. A contributor to New York Magazine, The Guardian,VICE, LA Weekly, Hyperallergic, Art21, and Artforum, she is currently working on her first book,The Selfie Generation (Skyhorse).

He/She/They is on view at ROSEGALLERY, Santa Monica, through November 12, 2016."

Read the full review on aperture.org/blog!

The Oxford Eagle features William Eggleston in 'University Museum is a Treasure'

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By The Oxford Eagle Editorial Board


The University of Mississippi Museum has emerged over the past decade as a cornerstone of the growing, thriving, enlightened Oxford and Ole Miss community.

Nothing illustrates this better than the ongoing exhibit “The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston,” featuring 36 color and black-and-white photographs from the renowned photographer.

Sponsored by Friends of the Museum, active supporters who have helped the University Museum increase its reach and presence in recent years, the Eggleston exhibit is one of the region’s more notable to come along in years.

Opening in September and running through January 14, the Eggleston exhibition features photographs from the museum’s permanent collection and others never before exhibited.

For comlpete text please visit OxfordEagle

William Eggleston is to Photography what William Faulkner was to Writing - Mississippi Today

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"When William “Bill” Ferris served as the founding director for the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi, he was concerned that the university didn’t own much work by William Faulkner, acclaimed internationally for his short stories and novels set in North Mississippi.
Ferris took it upon himself to organize a fundraising effort to purchase Faulkner’s Rowan Oak papers.  Around the same time, Ferris met famed photographer William J. Eggleston through mutual friends in Memphis and they became fast friends."

William Eggleston, Untitled, 1981.  Gift of William Ferris, University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses.

William Eggleston, Untitled, 1981.  Gift of William Ferris, University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses.

Ferris began purchasing the prints and, in time, amassed a good collection. Realizing that Eggleston was to photography what Faulkner was to writing, Ferris decided to donate his collection of Eggleston prints to the university in the 1980s. Thanks to his generosity, the University Museum at Ole Miss has 54 Eggleston prints in its permanent collection.

An exclusive exhibition of 36 color and black-and-white Eggleston photographs from the museum’s permanent collection, “The Beautiful Mysterious: The Extraordinary Gaze of William Eggleston,” will run through Jan. 14, 2017."

Read the rest of the article on mississippitoday.org


From Broodthaers to Braeckman on view at M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium

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Through representative examples From Broodthaers to Braeckman-- Photography in the Visual Arts in Belgium shows how the medium of photography entered the field of visual arts in Belgium and how it evolved into an independent artistic medium between 1960 and 1990.

Dirk Braeckman, C.O.-I.S.L.-94, 1994.  © Dirk Braeckman, Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp 

Dirk Braeckman, C.O.-I.S.L.-94, 1994.  © Dirk Braeckman, Courtesy Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp 


"Its location between major artistic centers from London, Amsterdam, Dusseldorf and Paris, and the presence of important visionary collectors and gallery owners, turned Belgium into an important meeting place for the international art world in the 1960s and 1970s. A rising generation of Belgian artists comes into direct contact with international artistic trends like conceptual art, Fluxus and the Situationist International. Local artistic traditions as well influenced their practice. Especially striking is the legacy of the Brussels surrealists, in particular the work of René Magritte and Paul Nougé. Over more, the strong pictorial tradition of the Low Countries, and by extension Europe, turns out to have had a decisive influence on the work of the artists selected for this exhibition, All which is characterized by a constant attention to their surrounding reality."

Exhibition will be on view 6 October until 5 February 2017 featuring works by artists Marcel Broodthaers, Jacques Charlier, and Jef Geys, Jacques Lennep, Jacques Louis Nys t, Jacques Lizène, Philippe Van Snick, Danny Matthys, Lili Dujourie, Jan Vercruysse, Ria Pacquée, Liliane Vertessen and Dirk Braeckman.

About C.O.-I.S.L.-94:
"When we see photographs by the Belgian artist Dirk Braeckman installed in museums, we seem to be looking at photographs that aspire to the condition of painting. They are large — he likes them to be life-size. They are unglazed— he wants no interruption to the eye. They demand as slow an act of looking as any painting. They have the same richness and variety of tones of grey as works by Richter or Celmins. Indeed, Braeckman’s most famous photograph, C.O.-I.S.L.-94, was a photograph of a painting. Before printing he re-cropped it so we see nothing of the frame or surroundings. But this is no normal reproduction of a painting: the light catches the bumpiness of the painting, the lines made by the vertical stretcher bar. Every scratch or nail is as clear as a blemish or mole on a person’s face. A banal painting becomes a beautiful photograph, at once meditative and haunting."
Tony Godfrey, in: "Painting Today", Phaidon, London / New York, 2009

For more info on the exhibition, visit muhka.be

Tomoko Sawada, Rinko Kawauchi in "Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now" at SFMOMA

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Tomoko Sawada, Rinko Kawauchi, as well as Yasumasa Morimura, Leiko Shiga and Ishiuchi Miyako will be on view in Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now at the SFMOMA this fall.  
15 October, 2016 - 12 March, 2017, Floor 3

Rinko Kawauchi, Untitled, from the series the eyes, the ears, 2005

Rinko Kawauchi, Untitled, from the series the eyes, the ears, 2005

Lieko Shiga, Tomlinson FC, from the series Lilly, 2005

Lieko Shiga, Tomlinson FC, from the series Lilly, 2005

Japanese Photography from Postwar to Now includes photographs from the 1960s, when major figures such as Shomei Tomatsu and Daido Moriyama investigated Americanization and industrial growth; the more personal and performative work of Nobuyoshi Araki and Eikoh Hosoe; and photography addressing the present culture and the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Organized thematically, the show explores topics such as Japan’s relationship with America, changes in the city and countryside, and the emergence of women, especially Miyako Ishiuchi, Rinko Kawauchi, and Lieko Shiga, as significant contributors to contemporary Japanese photography.

Read more on SFMOMA.org

William Eggleston on view at the Telfair Museum and Nasher Museum at Duke University

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Watershed: Contemporary Landscape Photography
On view at the Telfair Museum, Savannah, GA
14 October, 2016 - 29 January, 2017

Watershed explores the increasingly fraught relationship between humankind and the environment, giving photographic aid to a concern that has reached global significance in recent years. Since the 1970s, landscape photographers have embraced this new relationship with the natural world, marking a firm split from the pristine worldview touted by midcentury landscape photographers like Ansel Adams. Displaying works that evidence the undeniable human impact on the earth, these photographers reveal the landscape as an activated space—one that is imprinted by mankind and marked by social performance.


Untitled, from Election Eve, 1976

Untitled, from Election Eve, 1976

Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art
On view at the Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, NC
1 September, 2016 - 8 January, 2017

Southern Accent: Seeking the American South in Contemporary Art questions and explores the complex and contested space of the American South. One needs to look no further than literature, cuisine and music to see evidence of the South’s profound influence on American culture, and consequently much of the world. This unprecedented exhibition addresses and complicates the many realities, fantasies and myths that have long captured the public’s imagination about the American South. Presenting a wide range of perspectives, from both within and outside of the region, the exhibition creates a composite portrait of southern identity through the work of 60 artists. The art reflects upon and pulls apart the dynamic nature of the South’s social, political and cultural landscape.


Untitled, Jackson, Mississippi, c. 1969

Untitled, Jackson, Mississippi, c. 1969

Iconic Mexican Photographer Graciela Iturbide Comes to Light in 'A Lens to See'

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Graciela Iturbide’s Autorretrato con los indios Seris, 1979

Graciela Iturbide’s Autorretrato con los indios Seris, 1979

As part of this year’s Fotoseptiembre, Ruiz-Healy Art will present “A Lens to See,” a solo exhibition of photography by Graciela Iturbide. 
The selections, gathered from the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University, one of the largest archives of contemporary Mexican photography, mark the first time Iturbide has been exhibited in a commercial gallery in Texas, and span a period from the early 1970s to 2006. Among the work are some of Iturbide’s most iconic photographs, including Our Lady of the Iguanas and Angel Woman in the Desert of Sonora, both of which depict the strength and dignity of indigenous women.

Please visit Sacurrent for full text.