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Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Manuel Álvarez Bravo
Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Manuel Álvarez Bravo

Country: Mexico
Birth: 1902 | Death: 2002

Manuel Álvarez Bravo was a Mexican artistic photographer and one of the most important figures in 20th century Latin American photography. He was born and raised in Mexico City. While he took art classes at the Academy of San Carlos, his photography is self-taught. His career spanned from the late 1920s to the 1990s with its artistic peak between the 1920s and 1950s. His hallmark as a photographer was to capture images of the ordinary but in ironic or Surrealistic ways. His early work was based on European influences, but he was soon influenced by the Mexican muralism movement and the general cultural and political push at the time to redefine Mexican identity. He rejected the picturesque, employing elements to avoid stereotyping. He had numerous exhibitions of his work, worked in the Mexican cinema and established Fondo Editorial de la Plástica Mexicana publishing house. He won numerous awards for his work, mostly after 1970. His work was recognized by the UNESCO Memory of the World registry in 2017.

Source: Wikipedia


Manuel Álvarez Bravo, one of the founders of modern photography, is considered the main representative of Latin American photography in the 20th century. His work extends from the late 1920s to the 1990s. Alvarez Bravo was born in downtown Mexico City on February 4, 1902. He left school at the age of twelve in order to begin making a contribution to his family's finances after his father's death. He worked at a textile factory for a time, and later at the National General Treasury.

Both his grandfather (a painter) and his father were amateur photographers. His early discovery of the camera awakened in him an interest that he would continue to cultivate throughout his life. As a self-taught photographer, he would explore many different techniques, as well as graphic art. Influenced by his study of painting at the Academy of San Carlos, he embraced pictorialism at first. Then, with the discovery of cubism and all the possibilities offered by abstraction, he began to explore modern aesthetics. He had his initiation into documentary photography in 1930: when she was deported from Mexico, Tina Modotti left him her job at the magazine Mexican Folkways. He also worked for the muralists Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

Álvarez Bravo is an emblematic figure from the period following the Mexican Revolution often called the Mexican Renaissance. It was a time of a creative fertility, owing to the happy though not always tranquil marriage between a desire for modernization and the search for an identity with Mexican roots, in which archaeology, history and ethnology played an important role, parallel to the arts. Alvarez Bravo embodied both tendencies in the field of visual arts. Between 1943 and 1959, he worked in the film industry doing still shots, which inspired him to realize some of his own experiments with cinema.

While Manuel Álvarez Bravo was alive, he held over 150 individual exhibitions and participated in over 200 collective exhibitions. According to several critics, the work of this "poet of the lens" expresses the essence of Mexico. However, the humanist regard reflected in his work, the aesthetic, literary and musical references it contains, likewise endow with a truly universal dimension.

He died on October 19, 2002, at the age of one hundred.

Source: www.manuelalvarezbravo.org


Manuel Álvarez Bravo was a teenager when he first picked up a camera and began taking pictures, before he enrolled in night classes in painting at the Academia San Carlos, in 1917, or sought instruction in the darkroom of local German photographer Hugo Brehme. Initially self-taught, Álvarez Bravo’s style developed through study of foreign and local photography journals. In these pages, he first encountered the work of Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, who came to Mexico in 1923; the latter became a close colleague and supporter, introducing Álvarez Bravo to the artists of Mexico’s avant-garde, including Diego Rivera, Frida Khalo, and Rufino Tamayo, as well as encouraging him to send photographs to Weston.

In the 1930s, Álvarez Bravo met Paul Strand, traveling with him while he worked in Mexico, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. With Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans he exhibited in a three-man show at the Julien Levy Gallery, New York, in 1935. Mexico was a cultural hub for many in the international avant-garde in these years; André Breton visited, including Álvarez Bravo in the Exposition of Surrealism he organized in 1940 in Mexico City. Although the artist never identified with Surrealism, it was a major theme in the analysis of his pictures throughout his career. Revealing the influence of his formative years following the Mexican Revolution of 1910, Álvarez Bravo would instead speak of his interest in representing the cultural heritage, peasant population, and indigenous roots of the Mexican people in the face of rapid modernization.

Source: Museum of Modern Art


 

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László Moholy-Nagy
Hungary
1895 | † 1946
László Moholy-Nagy (July 20, 1895 - November 24, 1946) was a Hungarian painter and photographer as well as professor in the Bauhaus school. He was highly influenced by constructivism and a strong advocate of the integration of technology and industry into the arts. Moholy-Nagy was born László Weisz in Bácsborsód to a Jewish-Hungarian family. His cousin was the conductor Sir Georg Solti. He attended Gymnasium (academic high school) in the city of Szeged. He changed his German-Jewish surname to the Magyar surname of his mother's Christian lawyer friend Nagy, who supported the family and helped raise Moholy-Nagy and his brothers when their Jewish father, László Weisz left the family. Later, he added "Moholy" ("from Mohol") to his surname, after the name of the Hungarian town Mohol in which he grew up. One part of his boyhood was spent in the Hungarian Ada town, near Mohol in family house. In 1918 he formally converted to the Hungarian Reformed Church (Calvinist); his Godfather was his Roman Catholic university friend, the art critic Ivan Hevesy. Immediately before and during World War I he studied law in Budapest and served in the war, where he sustained a serious injury. In Budapest, on leaves and during convalescence, Moholy-Nagy became involved first with the journal Jelenkor ("The Present Age"), edited by Hevesy, and then with the "Activist" circle around Lajos Kassák's journal Ma ("Today"). After his discharge from the Austro-Hungarian army in October 1918, he attended the private art school of the Hungarian Fauve artist Róbert Berény. He was a supporter of the Communist Dictatorship (known as "Red Terror" and also "Hungarian Soviet Republic"), declared early in 1919, though he assumed no official role in it. After the defeat of the Communist Regime in August, he withdrew to Szeged. An exhibition of his work was held there, before he left for Vienna around November 1919. He left for Berlin early in 1920. In 1923, Moholy-Nagy replaced Johannes Itten as the instructor of the foundation course at the Bauhaus. This effectively marked the end of the school's expressionistic leanings and moved it closer towards its original aims as a school of design and industrial integration. The Bauhaus became known for the versatility of its artists, and Moholy-Nagy was no exception. Throughout his career, he became proficient and innovative in the fields of photography, typography, sculpture, painting, printmaking, and industrial design. One of his main focuses was photography. He coined the term "the New Vision" for his belief that photography could create a whole new way of seeing the outside world that the human eye could not. His theory of art and teaching is summed up in the book The New Vision, from Material to Architecture. He experimented with the photographic process of exposing light sensitive paper with objects overlain on top of it, called photogram. While studying at the Bauhaus, Moholy's teaching in diverse media — including painting, sculpture, photography, photomontage and metal — had a profound influence on a number of his students, including Marianne Brandt. Perhaps his most enduring achievement is the construction of the "Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Buehne" [Light Prop for an Electric Stage] (completed 1930), a device with moving parts meant to have light projected through it in order to create mobile light reflections and shadows on nearby surfaces. Made with the help of the Hungarian architect Istvan Seboek for the German Werkbund exhibition held in Paris during the summer of 1930, it is often interpreted as a kinetic sculpture. After his death, it was dubbed the "Light-Space Modulator" and was seen as a pioneer achievement of kinetic sculpture. It might more accurately be seen as one of the earliest examples of Light Art. Moholy-Nagy was photography editor of the Dutch avant-garde magazine International Revue i 10 from 1927 to 1929. He resigned from the Bauhaus early in 1928 and worked free-lance as a highly sought-after designer in Berlin. He designed stage sets for successful and controversial operatic and theatrical productions, designed exhibitions and books, created ad campaigns, wrote articles and made films. His studio employed artists and designers such as Istvan Seboek, Gyorgy Kepes and Andor Weininger. After the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, and, as a foreign citizen, he was no longer allowed to work, he operated for a time in Holland (doing mostly commercial work) before moving to London in 1935. In England, Moholy-Nagy formed part of the circle of émigré artists and intellectuals who based themselves in Hampstead. Moholy-Nagy lived for a time in the Isokon building with Walter Gropius for eight months and then settled in Golders Green. Gropius and Moholy-Nagy planned to establish an English version of the Bauhaus but could not secure backing, and then Moholy-Nagy was turned down for a teaching job at the Royal College of Art. Moholy-Nagy made his way in London by taking on various design jobs including Imperial Airways and a shop display for men's underwear. He photographed contemporary architecture for the Architectural Review where the assistant editor was John Betjeman who commissioned Moholy-Nagy to make documentary photographs to illustrate his book An Oxford University Chest. In 1936, he was commissioned by fellow Hungarian film producer Alexander Korda to design special effects for Things to Come. Working at Denham Studios, Moholy-Nagy created kinetic sculptures and abstract light effects, but they were rejected by the film's director. At the invitation of Leslie Martin, he gave a lecture to the architecture school of Hull University. In 1937, at the invitation of Walter Paepcke, the Chairman of the Container Corporation of America, Moholy-Nagy moved to Chicago to become the director of the New Bauhaus. The philosophy of the school was basically unchanged from that of the original, and its headquarters was the Prairie Avenue mansion that architect Richard Morris Hunt designed for department store magnate Marshall Field. Unfortunately, the school lost the financial backing of its supporters after only a single academic year, and it closed in 1938. Moholy-Nagy was also the Art Advisor for the mail-order house of Spiegel in Chicago. Paepcke, however, continued his own support, and in 1939, Moholy-Nagy opened the School of Design. In 1944, this became the Institute of Design. In 1949 the Institute of Design became a part of Illinois Institute of Technology and became the first institution in the United States to offer a PhD in design. Moholy-Nagy authored an account of his efforts to develop the curriculum of the School of Design in his book Vision in Motion. Moholy-Nagy died of leukemia in Chicago in 1946. Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest is named in his honour. Works by him are currently on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. The software company Laszlo Systems (developers of the open source programming language OpenLaszlo) was named in part in honor of Moholy-Nagy. In 1998, he received a Tribute Marker from the City of Chicago. In the autumn of 2003, the Moholy-Nagy Foundation, Inc. was established as a source of information about Moholy-Nagy's life and works.Source: Wikipedia
Thomas Wrede
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1963
Thomas Wrede was born in 1963 in Iserlohn (Germany). He studied Fine Art in Muenster and Berlin. From 1998 until 2005 he taught photography at the Kunstakademie Muenster. During the last few years numerous exhibitions presented his works in- and outside of Germany. Particularly, the solo exhibitions at the Museum Kunst der Westkueste, Alkersum (2010), the Kunsthalle Bielefeld (2010) and at the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Koeln (2007) and the following group exhibitions should be mentioned: at the National Museum for History and Art, Luxembourg (2013), the Seoul Museum of Art, South Korea (2011) and the Art Museum, Wuhan, China (2009). Since 1998 Wrede has shown his works in several galeries of the United States (New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles). Wrede's photographs have also been placed in these major art collections: Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Landesmuseum Muenster, The West Collection Philadelphia, Kunst-am-Bau-projects in Berlin for the German State, UBS Zuerich & Lucerne, DZ-Bank Frankfurt. The artist won some important awards, among others the Karl-Hofer-Preis of the Hochschule der Kuenste Berlin. Thomas Wrede published all photographic series in several nice books.About Real Landscape from the Press Release by Beck & Eggeling:Thomas Wrede already counts as an established position to the Duesseldorf photography scene. His large format, quiet, but also dramatic landscape photographs fascinate in a particular way, as the observer immediately feels himself confronted with all the facets of human existence. Idyll and catastrophe, longing and debacle form the fine line of atmospheres which through Wrede's complex direction have a thought-provoking effect. Scenic cloud formations or glistening sunsets at the horizon blur the boundaries further. Point of origin of his photographic works is time and again the longing for nature. Wrede thereby utilizes in his „Real Landscapes“-series requisites from model railways, placing miniature houses and trees into real nature – at the beach, into the snow or in a nearby puddle. Yet, only a small excerpt of nature measuring at most a few steps in circumference is of concern. The observer's perception is thus set on the wrong track because in the photograph the whole setting is perceived in line with the size of the trees and houses. The illusion, generated through the inconsistencies and discrepancies of the proportions, is the result of Wrede's skilful use of his analogue plate camera with wide angle – he interferes with scales and reduces distances. A puddle thereby becomes a lake, a pile of snow turns into snowcapped mountain ranges and a few centimetres of even sand become a milelong beach.
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1942
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Francis Meslet
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1963
A graduate in Design from the Fine Art School of Nancy in 1986, early in his career Francis Meslet was a designer, but soon turned to advertising when he joined several agencies as an artistic director. After 30 years spent questioning the creative concept and studying images in all his compositions, he is now a creative director. Francis does not hesitate to roam the world in his spare time, searching for abandoned sites, sanctuaries where time seems to have stopped after humans have evacuated them. He thus brings back captivating and melancholic images of his travels to the other side of the world... Like time capsules, testifying to a parallel world and perfect for enabling the mind to wander and ponder, Francis Meslet’s melancholic images brave the passage of time, making way for silence after the memories left behind by human inhabitation. In these deserted places, no more than the rustling of the wind can be heard through a broken window or the sound of water dripping from a dilapidated ceiling. These silences nonetheless invite the spectator to slip into these well-guarded and mysterious places captured by the photographer and attempt to bring to life that which has been forgotten. In this power station orders were shouted in German, in this French Catholic school the cries of children resounded to the sound of the bell but who can imagine the sounds hidden behind the walls of this old psychiatric asylum in Italy or on the docks of this abandoned island off Japan? From these silences, everyone can imagine their own interpretations, ...reinterpretations.
Kenneth Josephson
United States
1932
Kenneth Josephson is an American photographer, born on July 1, 1932 in Detroit, Michigan. He completed his elementary education in Detroit. In 1953 after being sent in Germany by the United States Army he was trained in photolithography and aerial reconnaissance photography. In 1957 he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology, located in New York. There he studied under Minor White. In 1960 he earned a master's degree from the Institute of Design of the Illinois Institute of Technology. While studying there he was influenced by Aaron Siskind and Harry Callahan. After earning his master's degree in 1960 Kenneth Josephson worked at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1960 to 1997, when he retired. In 1963 he co-founded the Society for Photographic Education with thirty other notable photographers. His works in the 1960s and 1970s which were focused on conceptual photography placed him at the forefront of conceptual photography. In 1972 he was awarded with the Guggenheim Fellowship grant by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. In 1975 and in 1979 he was awarded with the NEA grant by the National Endowment for the Arts agency. Many of his collections are found in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the National Museum of American Art and The Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris. In 1977 and 1983 many of his works became part of exhibitions in Austria, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, and France.Source: Wikipedia Kenneth Josephson is recognized as one of the pioneers of conceptual photography. He has explored the concepts of photographic truth and illusion throughout his career, producing a varied oeuvre that utilizes a range of techniques from collage and construction to multiple exposures and single negative photographs. Focusing on what it means to make a picture, Josephson’s work playfully highlights the illusive nature of photography. New York State (1970) is one of Josephson’s most well known photographs, and one of a much larger series incorporating pictures within pictures. We see the artist’s arm, stretching over a body of water, and just above the horizon line he holds a picture of a ship. Positioning this ship so that it appears proportionally equal to a full-sized ship in the distance, the photograph is deliberately composed to draw attention to its artifice. Source: Yancey Richardson In 1963 he became a founding member of the Society for Photographic Education, and in 1964 his work was included in John Szarkowski’s exhibition, “The Photographer’s Eye,” which traveled internationally to forty venues from 1964 to 1972. Josephson received his first museum retrospective in 1999–2000 at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Whitney Museum. His work is featured in numerous collections around the world and his monographs include: Kenneth Josephson Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1983; Kenneth Josephson: A Retrospective The Art Institute of Chicago, 1999; Kenneth Josephson: The First Fifty Years Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2008; Kenneth Josephson: Matthew 2054 Press and Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2012; Kenneth Josephson: Selected Photographs Only Photography, 2013; and The Light of Coincidence: The Photographs of Kenneth Josephson University of Texas Press, 2016.Source: Gitterman Gallery
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