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Isobel Whitelegg

Mexican photographer. After the death of Álvarez Bravo’s mother in 1910, her family moved from the northern state of Jalisco to Mexico City. Following the death of her father in 1916, she lived with her half-brother while completing a traditional education, as commonly available to women of her generation, at the Colegio del Sagrado Corazón. At 18 she married the photographer ...

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Elizabeth Ferrer

Mexican photographer. Álvarez Bravo’s interest in photography began in his adolescence while living in Mexico City in the 1910s, the years of the Mexican Revolution. He left school at the age of 13 to help support his family but pursued his creative interests by studying foreign photography magazines and receiving instruction from the German photographer based in Mexico, Hugo Brehme. Álvarez Bravo’s earliest images, made with a large-format Graflex camera, reflected the romantic pictorialist mode identified with Brehme’s generation. By ...

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Mexican, 20th century, male.

Born 4 February 1902, in Mexico City; died 19 October 2002, in Mexico City.

Photographer, photojournalist.

Originally working as a copy clerk, Manuel Alvarez Bravo experienced a dramatic shift in his life trajectory when his father gave him a camera in ...

Article

Cuban, 20th century, male.

Active in France since 1992.

Born 8 September 1934, in Havana.

Painter, draughtsman, graphic designer, film maker.

Armas studied Cuban archaeology, and rupestrian art in particular. He was a caricaturist at first, then a graphic designer and film maker. He established the cartoon department at the Cuban institute of cinematic arts. He won several prizes for this work. In ...

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Gustavo Navarro-Castro

Venezuelan photographer. He was self-taught and dedicated himself to photography from 1972, first working for the magazine Escena (1974–6) and then for the Galería de Arte Nacional in Caracas (1976–8). His first exhibition, Acercamiento a Zitman, was held at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo Sofía Imber, Caracas, in ...

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Julieta Ortiz Gaitán

Mexican photographer. She studied art at the Universidad Motolinía and at the Universidad Anáhuac, both in Mexico City, and undertook specialist studies at the Club Fotográfico de México. Ascher’s work showed the influence of such photographers as Yousuf Karsh, Sam Haskins (b 1926) and Richard Avedon, but it was also more generally stimulated by the work of Eugène Atget, Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Henri Cartier-Bresson. She made frequent trips to New York, where she acquired experience from photographers and artists that not only enriched her own visual concepts but also the technical aspects of her work. Ascher consolidated her position in Mexican photography through her work, particularly in the acute sensitivity of her many portraits of personalities from the artistic and cultural world. Her series of José Luis Cuevas and Juan Rulfo are among her most outstanding works. After several years of work she collected the material that was published as ...

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Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Born 14 May 1905, in Rosario (Santa Fé); died 13 October 1981, in Buenos Aires.

Painter, sculptor, engraver, collage artist, photomontage artist, assemblage artist. Figure compositions, landscapes, portraits, still-lifes, scenes with figures.

Nouvelle Figuration, Figuration Narrative.

Nuevo Realismo Group.

Berní was the son of Italian immigrants in Argentina. His childhood and early youth were marked by destitution. In 1915, when his father died, he went to live with his grandmother, where he had to travel 10 kilometres (six miles) on horseback to get to school every morning. From 1916, he was able to study stained glass window technique and attend a drawing course for young people. He was then influenced by the Post-Impressionism of the Spaniard, Joaquín Sorolla. He began to exhibit in 1918.From 1921 to 1924, he abandoned his studies and went to live among the peasants of the Pampa, where he painted landscapes. In 1925, he won a scholarship that enabled him to travel to Europe, where he stayed first in Madrid, then settled in Paris, where he frequented the studios of André Lhote and Othon Friesz at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse and discovered the painting of Picasso, Braque and de Chirico. In 1928, still in Paris, he met the Surrealists, associating mainly with Aragon; he did not formally join the movement but he immersed himself in the psychological atmosphere of the group and its Marxist commitment. He read Marx, Engels and Lenin, and met Henri Lefebvre. His painting was influenced by his Surrealist friendships, particularly in the series of photomontages and collages that he embarked on in 1929. In 1930, he returned to Argentina, where he studied further and was still able in 1932 to exhibit his Surrealist paintings of 1929-1931, in which he had mainly applied Lautréamont's formula concerning encounters with random objects.On his return, he had founded the ...

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Camara Dia Holloway

African American photographer. Bey was born and raised in the neighborhood of Jamaica, in Queens, New York City. His interest in photography was cemented by viewing the now infamous exhibition, Harlem on My Mind, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1969. He studied at the School of Visual Arts during ...

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Erika Billeter

Brazilian photographer and film maker of English birth. Having moved to Brazil, she studied painting with André Lhote in Paris (1953–4) and with the American painter Morris Kantor (b 1896) at the Art Students’ League in New York (1954–6), before deciding to become a photographer; after ...

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Erika Billeter

German photographer, active in Mexico. As a young man he travelled through Africa, taking photographs; an archive of some of these glass plates survives. He reached Mexico by way of Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala, and took his first Mexican photographs in the Yucatán peninsula. He then opened a studio in Mexico City and, together with Augustín Victor Casasola, became one of the most important photographers of the Revolution (...

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Cruz Barceló Cedeño

Venezuelan photographer. He took courses in cinema at the Ateneo in Caracas, where his interest in photography began. After winning second prize in the National Salon of Photography, he went to Rome on a scholarship to study at the Centro de Adiestramiento Profesional ‘Don Orione’. His black-and-white photographic work is distinctive in its capturing of physical details and gestures of people in the street, such as their hands, feet and faces, obliging the spectator to complete the figure with his imagination; examples include ...

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Eduardo Serrano

Colombian photographer. After studying photography with Emiliano Mejía, he established a photographic studio in Yarumal in 1898, working there until his move in 1903 to Medellín. He added the prefixes to his surname, Calle, to declare his identification with other people ‘of the street’: nonconformists, bohemians and those marginalized by society. He openly aligned himself with the underprivileged social classes in his photographs, stating his opposition to the arbitrary and vengeful aspects of his society by recording some of the most moving events of his day, including the last executions by firing squad to take place in Colombia. This series included photographs of prisoners awaiting their deaths while facing their coffins and as bullet-ridden corpses....

Article

Isobel Whitelegg

Cuban painter, photographer, installation and performance artist, active also in the USA. Campos-Pons studied at the Higher Institute of Art, Havana (1980–85). Initially a painter, her graduation show Acoplamientos (1985; Havana, HIA) was concerned with representations of the female body as a device for prohibition and control, and her early work focused on the role of women in society and their representation within the history of art. In ...

Article

David Elliott

Mexican photographer and collector. He worked as a reporter for the Catholic newspaper El tiempo during the 1890s, becoming a staff photographer by 1900. He not only recorded the official functions and daily life in Mexico City under President Porfirio Díaz but also began to take an interest in social conditions, despite strict government censorship preventing publication of anything other than the most anodyne of images. He also began to collect the work of other photographers, which with his own work provide an invaluable record of Mexican life before, during and after the Revolution (...

Article

W. Iain Mackay

Peruvian painter, photographer, teacher and critic. At the age of four he was brought to Lima, where he began to take lessons in art. From 1885 he travelled through France, Italy and Belgium, and on returning to Latin America he settled in Buenos Aires, where he took up photography. In ...

Article

Erika Billeter

Peruvian photographer. The only major photographer of Latin American Indian origin in his time, he gained international recognition only after his death. As a boy he was fascinated by photography, about which he learnt in the studio of Max T. Vargas in Arequipa in 1908...

Article

Argentinian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 27 November 1937, in Buenos Aires.

Installation artist, painter, draughtsman, sculptor, photographer, mixed media.

Neo-Constructivism.

Cafone was a student at the school of art in Buenos Aires and at the Slade School in London. A sculptor who abandoned his sculptor's tools very early on, he looked to drawing as a medium through which to find an equivalent, a medium in which he proved to have astonishing dexterity. His paintings employ mixed media, incorporating sheets of lead, for example. Harking back to his work as an installation sculptor, he also took the venue in which he was exhibiting into account, if needs be creating certain works directly onto the walls of the gallery. If a certain preciousness of materials, and in particular the ornamental details, are set aside, there is a relationship here between Cofone's work and Minimalism, given their common refusal to attach any meaning to the completed object other than the one that defines - in the most material terms possible - its physical relationship with the artist who has created it, not in his image, but on his scale....

Article

Paraguayan, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1964, in Itauga Guazù.

Painter, draughtsman, engraver, film producer, video artist.

Enrique Collar entered the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes Manuel Belgrano in Buenos Aires in 1988. Since 1997 he has produced audiovisual works including videos like El Presente...

Article

Erika Billeter

Argentine photographer. Having produced his first photographs in 1928, he studied in 1932 at the Bauhaus, Berlin, under the American photographer Walter Peterhans (1897–1960). There he met the German photographer Grete Stern, whom he was later to marry and with whom he started a studio for publicity photography in Buenos Aires in ...

Article

Erika Billeter

Cuban photographer. From 1946 he worked as a photojournalist for various newspapers. He accompanied Fidel Castro on a number of journeys and worked as a photographer on Castro’s side during the revolution of 1956 to 1959, producing images of an almost monumental character, such as ...