Paul Strand In Mexico

Thursday, September 9, 2010–Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aperture Foundation presents Paul Strand in Mexico, an exhibition comprised of over a hundred photographic works by Strand, including vintage prints; stills from his classic film, Redes (The Wave; 1936); and previously unseen documents and ephemera related to Strand’s time in Mexico. The exhibition, a unique and important photographic portrait of Mexico at a critical point in its history by one of the great modern masters, will open at Aperture Gallery on September 9, 2010, to coincide with the celebrations commemorating the bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence (1810) and the centennial of its Revolution (1910). An opening reception for the public will take place the following week, on Thursday, September 16, 6:00–8:00 p.m., also marking the official start date of the Mexican Revolution.

A satellite exhibition featuring twenty gravure prints from the 1967 edition of The Mexican Portfolio will open simultaneously at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, accompanied by a family program to engage the local community with Strand’s photographs. The Aperture show will travel to the El Paso Museum of Art, Texas, in June 2011, and then to Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, in fall 2011. The exhibition debuted at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, Miami, on May 26, 2010.

The book Paul Strand in Mexico, copublished by Aperture and Televisa Foundation in October 2010, accompanies the exhibition. This lush and exquisitely printed volume documents the complete photographic works made by Strand during his 1932–34 trip to Mexico as well as a second journey in 1966—a total of 234 photographs, 123 of which have never before been published. The first publication to chronicle this pivotal time in Strand’s career, Paul Strand in Mexico demonstrates how, through his photographic studies and work in film, Strand sought to create a visual record of the place, chronicling what he thought of as the country’s essential characteristics.

Author James Krippner’s in-depth, scholarly text brings together primary research from distinguished archives and institutions in both Mexico and the United States, and Mexican photo-historian Alfonso Morales contributes an essay contextualizing this remarkable body of work within the canon of Mexican photography and film of the 1930s. The book features additional texts by Katherine Ware, Leo Hurwitz, David Alfaro Siqueros, and Anthony Montoya. The culmination of Strand’s time in Mexico was his collaboration with Emilio Gomez Muriel and Academy Award-winning director Fred Zinnemann on the groundbreaking film, Redes (The Waves, 1936); a restored DVD version of the film is included with this essential volume.

A Paul Strand symposium organized by Aperture in association with The John B. Hurford ’60 Humanities Center at Haverford College will take place on October 15 and 16, 2010, where Krippner will bring together an internationally renowned group of scholars and practitioners to discuss Strand’s output during his sojourn in Mexico in the context of modernism, revolutionary politics and film of the 1930s, and other topics. Participants include John Mraz (Mexico) and Mike Weaver (UK), with others to be announced. Screenings of the newly restored versions of the classic Strand films Redes and Manhatta (1921) will take place as part of the symposium events.

Simultaneously with the Strand exhibition, Aperture will host an accompanying exhibition of contemporary Mexican and Mexican-American works in collaboration with En Foco, a New York–based organization dedicated to diversity in photography. The exhibition will be installed in the project room adjacent to the Aperture Gallery and Bookstore.