Lola Alvarez Bravo
This first comprehensive monograph in English for Mexico's first major female photographer tracks a career equally exceptional for its remarkable range and for its compelling quality. Lola Alvarez Bravo explored her calling through photojournalism, commercial work and professional portrait-making, even as she was creating intensely personal images of people, places and things throughout her native Mexico. In addition, she played a vital role in the Mexican cultural scene as an inspiring teacher, a friend of innumerable artists (many of whom she photographed), and as the owner of a prestigious gallery that presented the first solo show by her friend Frida Kahlo, the subject of some of Alvarez Bravo's most powerful portraits. Although some of her photographs reflect the influence of her husband, Manuel Alvarez Bravo—they shared the same cameras and often the same roll of film—Lola had achieved her own aesthetic by the 1940s and 50s, concentrating on two particularly vivid bodies of work, portraiture and street photography. In these two disciplines she found a way to reveal a lyricism in the world around her, producing quiet reveries on life lived in the moment. This first English-language book to encompass the full range of her work includes previously unpublished images and several of her little-known photomontages.