Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico

  • A black-and-white photograph of a woman sitting at a table with a shotglass; a large skull mural is on the wall behind her.
    Graciela Iturbide, Mexico City, 1969–72; Gelatin silver print, 6 ¾ x 10 ¼ in.; Collection of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser; © Graciela Iturbide; Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • A black-and-white photograph of a woman dressed in white with white wings on her back walking.
    Graciela Iturbide, Cayó del cielo (Fallen from Heaven), Chalma, 1989; Gelatin silver print, 12 ¼ x 18 in.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum purchase with funds donated by John and Cynthia Reed, Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund, Barbara M. Marshall Fund, Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund for Photography, Francis Welch Fund, and Jane M. Rabb Fund for Film and Photography; © Graciela Iturbide; Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • A black-and-white photograph of a flying swarm of birds surrounding a telephone pole.
    Graciela Iturbide, Pájaros en el poste, Carretera (Birds on the Post, Highway), Guanajuato, 1990; Gelatin silver print, 11 ⅝ x 17 ½ in.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum purchase with funds donated by John and Cynthia Reed, Charles H. Bayley Picture and Painting Fund, Barbara M. Marshall Fund, Lucy Dalbiac Luard Fund, Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund for Photography, Francis Welch Fund, and Jane M. Rabb Fund for Film and Photography; © Graciela Iturbide; Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico on view February 28–May 25, 2020

For the past 50 years, Graciela Iturbide (b. 1942, Mexico City) has produced majestic, powerful, and sometimes visceral images of her native Mexico. One of the most influential contemporary photographers of Latin America, Iturbide transforms ordinary observation into personal and lyrical art. Her signature black-and-white gelatin silver prints present nuanced insights into the communities she photographs, revealing her own journey to understand her homeland and the world.

Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico is the artist’s most extensive U.S. exhibition in more than two decades, comprising 140 photographs organized around nine themes. Her photographs that document the Seri, Juchitán, and Mixtec societies offer compelling insight into the daily lives and customs of indigenous men and women. Iturbide demonstrates her deep awareness of complex cultural symbols through representations of processions honoring the dead, as well as lavish, exuberant fiestas that highlight Mexico’s pre-Hispanic and Spanish heritages. Her depictions of animals, birds, and plants are rendered with as much sensitivity as her images of people, calling attention to the relationship between human presence and nature.

Also featured are Iturbide’s haunting snapshots of Frida Kahlo’s personal items left at her home, Casa Azul (Blue House), after Kahlo’s death. The photographs connect Iturbide to Kahlo, another of Mexico’s most celebrated artists, as two women who have used their craft to grapple with—and transcend—the hardships and tragedies of life.


Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.