Contact: Victoria Winkelman or Kami Duncan
SMU Meadows School of the Arts
(214) 768-3785 or (214) 768-2788
May 3, 2002


DALLAS (SMU) -- Fifteen photographs by famed Mexican photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo will be on display in SMU’s Meadows Museum from May 1 through June 12, 2002. Drawn from the museum’s permanent collection and organized in honor of Álvarez Bravo’s 100th birthday, the display includes some of the most significant photos from his 70-year artistic career. All of the photographs are gelatin silver prints and are signed by the artist.

“Manuel Álvarez Bravo is undoubtedly one of the most important photographers alive today,” said Dr. Mark Roglán, curator of the Meadows Museum. “Virtually any subject -- natural or artificial, real or unreal -- that captures his eye becomes an impressive work of art through the lens of his camera.”

The subjects of Álvarez Bravo’s work cover a wide spectrum: surrealist motifs, formalist constructions, anatomical studies, abstract compositions, representations of Mexican daily life, open landscapes, architectural details. Examples in the display include both early works -- such as the 1934 “Senor de Papantla,” in which the photographer endows an ordinary working man with an aura of beauty and nobility -- and later ones, such as “Landscape of Sown Fields” (1972-74), depicting a Mexican desert landscape as a geometric composition.

Álvarez Bravo was born in Mexico City on February 4, 1902 and received his first camera at age 13. In 1927, he met the great Italian photographer Tina Modotti, who encouraged him to become a professional photographer. He also interacted directly or indirectly with many important modern photographers who visited Mexico during that time -- Edward Weston, Paul Strand, Henri Cartier-Bresson. He himself achieved international recognition in the 1940s, when the United States became the first country outside Mexico to exhibit his works. By 1943, the Metropolitan Museum of Art had already acquired his photos, and that same year the Art Institute of Chicago featured a solo exhibition of his work.

Though he continued to be influenced by the different artistic movements of the next 50 years, Álvarez Bravo never lost interest in combining elements of those movements with themes of his Mexican homeland and its heritage. Today, his work is considered an integral part of the culture and artistic history of Mexico.

The 15 prints in the display comprise a portfolio numbered 82 in an edition of 100. They were printed in Mexico City in 1977. The prints were donated by W. Barton Munro to the Meadows Museum in 1980.

The Meadows Museum is located at 5900 Bishop Blvd. on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Admission to the museum and to the Álvarez Bravo display is free. Museum hours are

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.- 8 p.m. Thursday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed on Wednesdays and major holidays. For more information, please call the museum at 214-768-2516.

NOTE: Photos available on request.