“I don’t look for anything. I discover things.’’
Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002, Mexico) is one of the great modernists of the twentieth century and considered a key figure in Mexican and Latin American photography. In his exceptional work, he transformed the ordinary and seemingly mundane into something fantastical and monumental. Bravo received his first photographic camera in 1923 and in 1930 started his career working as a freelance documentary photographer for Mexican Folkways, a role he inherited from the Italian photographer Tina Modotti. He 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, Bravo photographed what he saw around him, his unique perspective adding a poetic quality to the quotidian scenes. By the mid 1930s, Álvarez Bravo was being exhibited alongside contemporaries Henri-Cartier Bresson and Walker Evans and shown in such seminal group exhibitions as Twenty Centuries of Mexican Art (Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1940), and the worldwide tour of Edward Steichen's Family of Man in 1955.
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