Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Mexican, 1902–2002

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Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Mexican, 1902–2002

920
Followers
Biography

Manuel Álvarez Bravo initially photographed abstract paper forms, but became known for capturing the rise of a post-revolutionary modern culture in his native Mexico. Encouraged to pursue his art by an admiring Edward Weston, Álvarez Bravo photographed what he saw around him, his unique perspective adding a poetic quality to the quotidian scenes. The Great Penitent (1930), for instance, captures a woman lying face down on a sidewalk in front of a church; shot from a bird’s eye view, electrical wires run through the frame and the heads of the saints adorning the building have been cut out, lending the image a striking visual composition and intellectual complexity. Álvarez Bravo also flirted with Surrealism without fully embracing it, shooting real yet uncanny subjects, such as an optical store plastered with eye illustrations (Optical Parable, 1931).

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Biography

Manuel Álvarez Bravo initially photographed abstract paper forms, but became known for capturing the rise of a post-revolutionary modern culture in his native Mexico. Encouraged to pursue his art by an admiring Edward Weston, Álvarez Bravo photographed what he saw around him, his unique perspective adding a poetic quality to the quotidian scenes. The Great Penitent (1930), for instance, captures a woman lying face down on a sidewalk in front of a church; shot from a bird’s eye view, electrical wires run through the frame and the heads of the saints adorning the building have been cut out, lending the image a striking visual composition and intellectual complexity. Álvarez Bravo also flirted with Surrealism without fully embracing it, shooting real yet uncanny subjects, such as an optical store plastered with eye illustrations (Optical Parable, 1931).

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
User
Solo show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 4 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Articles Featuring Manuel Álvarez Bravo
When Mexico Became a Surrealist Mecca
Jun 25th, 2019
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