Manuel Álvarez Bravo.
By Gerardo Mosquera, Iván de la Nuez and Catherine David. Photographs by Manuel Álvarez Bravo.
T.F. Editores, 2012. 240 pp., 150 color illustrations, 9½x11¾".
Manuel Álvarez Bravo, a pioneer of art photography in Mexico, is a cornerstone of Mexican culture and twentieth-century Latin-American photography. His work ranges from late 1920 to the 90s. Álvarez Bravo's artistic identity is inextricably linked to the history of his country and the creation of Mexican identity after the revolution of 1910. Thus, his work can be understood both as a reflection of the extraordinary variety of cultures in Mexico as an eccentric drift of surreal avante-garde.
The exhibition organized by Fundación MAPFRE and the accompanying catalogue, runs through 150 photographs, a limited number of iconographic motifs of his work: reflections and illusions of the big city, bodies lying converted into shapes, objects of ambiguous meanings, a wide panoramic that shows his rejection to easy picturesque, his irony insistently ambiguous, and his ability to convert images into symbols beyond the poetic realism typical of Mexican culture.
Another key element in his photography is the time, and thus, the exhibition explores the relationship between his language and in photography and experimental film stills of the sixties. Finally, the exhibition shows a selection of late color photographs and polaroids confirming Álvarez Bravo as an artist working against the grain of established clichés, while having a defining influence on Mexican and Latin-American photography.