Lola Alvarez Bravo

Organized by the Aperture Foundation, this retrospective of the Mexican modernist photographer was organized to accompany the book Lola Alvarez Bravo (New York, Aperture Foundation, 2006).  Lola Alvarez Bravo was Mexico’s first woman photographer, and her career is exceptional both for its remarkable range and for the compelling quality of her work. Approach­ing photography from multiple angles, she worked as a photojournalist, commercial photographer, and professional portraitist, while also creating intensely personal images of people, places, and things throughout her native Mexico. In addition, she played a vital role in the Mexican cultural scene, as an inspiring teacher of photography, as friend of innumerable artists and writers (many of whom she photographed), and as owner of a prestigious gallery that pre­sented the first solo show by her friend Frida Kahlo, the subject of some of Alvarez Bravo’s most powerful portraits.

Lola Alvarez Bravo, El ensueno (The Daydream)

Lola Alvarez Bravo moved to Mexico City from her hometown in Jalisco at age three, and Mexico City remained her home base for the rest of her long life—except for two years in Oaxaca with her then husband, Manuel Alvarez Bravo. She began making photographs, under his tutelage, in 1926 and continued photographing for the next sixty years. Although some of her photographs reflect Manuel’s influence—they shared the same cameras and often the same roll of film—Lola achieved her own aesthetic dur­ing the 1940s and ’50s, concentrating on two particularly vivid bodies of work: portraiture and street photography. In these engaging images she found a way to reveal a lyricism in the world around her, producing quiet reveries on life lived in the moment.
The exhibition opened in fall 2007 at the Aperture Gallery, New York, and traveled to these venues:

Smithsonian Institution (International Gallery, Dillon S. Ripley Center), Washington, D. C., 2007

Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME, 2008

Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL, 2009 

Snite Museum, Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN 2009

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