In 1938, the young photographer Pedro E. Guerrero met Frank Lloyd Wright for the first time in the desert outside Phoenix, Arizona where Wright was constructing his master work, Taliesin West. Guerrero demonstrated an innate sensitivity to form, detail and structure that pleased the master architect. In time, Wright reveals himself to Guerrero’s lens at the drafting board; overseeing the complex construction projects across the county, in communion with his Fellows and family, advocating for his unique ideas about architecture, and at rest amidst his creations. Guerrero documents the complex live-work relationship that surround Wright and his Fellows and the private spaces that Wright constructs for himself.
Guerrero’s photographs of Frank Lloyd Wright have been featured in nearly every major publication by and about Wright since the architect first published them in The Nature of Materials (1940). His images have appeared in countless American and foreign magazines including the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Architectural Record, Travel and Leisure, and House and Garden. He has also contributed photographs to dozens of books on Wright, Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson. In addition, Guerrero self-published three books dedicated to his photographs of Wright and his work including Picturing Wright (1994/2015) and Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer's Journey (2007). Guerrero’s photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States and Europe, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art. MoMA’s current exhibition, Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive features photographs taken by Guerrero. His life as one of the most accomplished Mexican-American artists was documented in the PBS series, American Masters: Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer's Journey.
Born in 1917 in Casa Grande, Arizona, Guerrero attended Art Center School in Los Angeles from 1937 to 1939. In the late fall of 1939 he became a photographer for Frank Lloyd Wright at his Arizona home, Taliesin West. Later, Guerrero began a freelance photography career in New York City working for the major shelter and architectural magazines. From 1963 to 1976 he photographed the life, work and homes of Alexander Calder and from 1981 to 1985 he documented Louise Nevelson at home and in her studio. He also continued his association with Wright as his “on call” photographer until the architect’s death in 1959 – a prolific twenty-year relationship. In contrast to many of his peers, Guerrero often created intimate portraits of the architects and artists he turned his lens to.
The exhibition features only unique silver-gelatin prints made by the photographer prior to his passing in 2012 and are hand selected from his archive which is in process of being cataloged. Each is signed, stamped and accompanied by documentation.