On Site: Early Twentieth- Century Mexican Photographs, Throckmorton Fine Art, NYC

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector on July 21, 2010 at 10:13 am


Manuel Álvarez Bravo,

An important exhibit of early Twentieth Century photographs by Mexican photographers, “The Dawn of Modernism”, is on display at Throckmorton Fine Art in NYC.

Including works of Lola Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Anton Bruehl, Tina Modotti, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston, the exhibit demonstrates the  vitality of this turning point in Mexican history.

This period was buffeted by strong political, social, and artistic "crosswinds." The tumultuous Mexican Revolution, from 1910-1917, upended political institutions, and introduced- often brusquely-new ideas and norms about state and society. The Mexican Revolution also derailed a formal, elitist, and academic approach to art. Meanwhile, from Europe came news of avant-garde experiments like Dada, Cubism, abstraction, and Surrealism. Painting in Mexico came to be dominated by the muralist movement, which combined realism, primitivism, myth, and politics.

Pictorialism, dominant since the 1890s, with its soft-focus quality and sentimental narrative, no longer seemed to resonate, but its influence sometimes lingered, or merged quietly into a new approach, that of modernism.

Examples from the show that jar the viewer are “Hands of the Potter” by Bruehl ,” Instrumental” by Manuel Bravo and “Stairs” by Tina Modotti.

(It should be noted a major Modotti show is now running in Vienna at Kunst Haus Wein.)

The show at Throckmorton is one of the most pleasing we attended this year, not only for its historical significance but its technical and aesthetic achievement.

Now, through September 11.

For more information: Throckmorton Fine Art

  1. Black and white photography may be plain and odd for some who does not actually understand photography as an art. I think this type of photo imaging reflects a more dramatic approach that brings the natural elements of the image.

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