Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico explores a rich tapestry of culture, ritual, tradition and modernity through artist’s lyrical photography
Nov 07 2019
WASHINGTON—On February 28, 2020, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico, an exhibition of 140 personal and poetic photographs bearing witness to the rich and complex culture of the artist’s homeland. For the past 50 years, Graciela Iturbide (b. 1942) has produced majestic, powerful and sometimes visceral photographs. She is considered one of the greatest contemporary photographers in Latin America. This monumental survey of photographs of Mexico, organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, spans Iturbide’s career with images from 1969 through 2007. It encompasses compelling portrayals of indigenous and urban women, explorations of symbolism in nature and rituals, and haunting photographs of personal items left after the death of Frida Kahlo. Iturbide’s most extensive United States exhibition in more than two decades, Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico will be on view through May 25, 2020.
As a documentary photographer, Iturbide transforms ordinary observation into powerful and provocative art. She integrates herself into the communities she photographs, and this close relationship has led to images of unparalleled sensitivity. Eschewing stereotypical narratives frequently used to represent Mexico, she instead presents nuanced and multifaceted insights through her signature black-and-white gelatin silver prints.
Graciela Iturbide stated, “Photography for me is a ritual. To go out with the camera, to observe, to photograph the most mythological aspects of people, then to go into the darkness, to develop, to select the most symbolic images.”