Filtering by Category: Manuel Alvarez Bravo

UNESCO Recognizes the Archive of Manuel Álvarez Bravo

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The artist's legacy continues to impact the world. 


The file of negatives and documents of Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002) was inscribed in the International Memory of the World Register of UNESCO.

The International Consultative Committee (ICC) of UNESCO's Memory of the World program recommended at its meeting held in Paris 78 new inscriptions in the UNESCO International Memory of the World register.

The file of Manuel Álvarez Bravo (considered the "greatest representative of twentieth-century Latin American photography") is manages by the Association that bears the same name as the photographer 

For the entire article, please visit El Universal.

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 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!

Mexico's Poet of Light, Manuel Álvarez Bravo on view at University of Michigan Museum of Art

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On view at the University of Michigan Museum of Art are 23 exquisite Manuel Álvarez Bravo photographs from their collection, celebrating his fantastic photographic eye.  The exhibition will be on view from 14 May until 23 October, 2016.

Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Window on the Agaves (Ventana a los magueyes), 1976

Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Window on the Agaves (Ventana a los magueyes), 1976

I think that a visual artist’s philosophy develops much more freely than a writer’s or a thinker’s philosophy. It is not so disciplined. The photographer works with both his eyes and his mind.
— Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902–2002)

"Many of Álvarez Bravo’s works manifest a similarly fantastical mood; one of the artist’s most arresting qualities is his ability to imbue scenes of everyday life with an otherworldly, metaphysical power." UMMA writes. 

"The 1920s were a fertile period for the artist’s early years. In 1925, he married his first of three wives, Lola Álvarez Bravo, who was also a photographer. In 1927, he met photographer Tina Modotti, who had a studio with Edward Weston, and together they became a force of activism and the avant garde. Modotti introduced Álvarez Bravo to artists and intellectuals in Mexico City, who supported his work. In 1930, he quit his government job to become a full-time freelance photographer. That same year, Modotti was deported from Mexico for her Communist activities. Before leaving for Berlin she gave Álvarez Bravo her camera and her job at Mexican Folkways magazine.

Álvarez Bravo gained international renown as his work presented a distinct and dynamic look at Mexico during the twentieth century. His works were heavily layered with ancient symbols, paradoxes, and ambiguities that brought together the forces of the universe in a single photograph. He observed, “I think that light and shadow have exactly the same duality that exists between life and death.”
-Miss Rosen for Crave Online

For full exhibition details visit
To read more about Álvarez Bravo visit

Images above: Left: Woman Combing Her Hair (Retrato de lo eterno), 1932-33.  Right: The Man from Papantla (Señor de Papantla), 1977.

Artist News, Graciela Iturbide "Animals Among Us," exhibition at The Witcliff Collections

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Graciela Iturbide, Xolotl, Oaxaca, Mexico, c. 1998 Vintage gelatin Silver Print

ANIMALS AMONG US: Photographs from the Permanent Collection
10 August 2015 - 13 May 2016

Graciela Iturbide is exhibiting in a special Wittliff Collection exhibition centralized in showcasing the "poignant to the fantastical, a menagerie of 55 photographs" of the animals among us.  Included is Xolo by Graciela Iturbide, Squash and Snail by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, to Luna by Keith Carter and Orb Weaver by David Johndrow.  There are cats, dogs, horses, fish, fowl, insects, and more in images created with a variety of photographic and printing techniques by 39 artists.

Visit for more details on their current exhibitions.

Source: http://www.thewittliffcollections.txstate....