Manuel ALVAREZ BRAVO, Nude Enlarge 1 /1


Mexico 1902 – 2002

Nude [Notebook of tomorrow] 1938-40 Place made: Mexico
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Primary Insc: Signed recto of mount, l.r., pencil, "M. Alvarez Bravo/..."
Dimensions: image 33.7 h x 26.5 w cm sheet 42.9 h x 35.3 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1988
Accession No: NGA 88.2321

1931 was an important year for Álvarez Bravo. It was the one he resigned from his job at the Treasury Department to become a full-time freelance photographer and that his photographs were acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. A major supporter of his work was the muralist Diego Rivera who wrote of ‘the profound and discreet poetry’ of his work. A surrealist strain runs strongly through Álvarez Bravo’s oeuvre, as does an interest in photographing the female nude. Even here, in a seemingly straightforward study, a strange sense of unrest and tension is palpable – the figure’s pose strikingly awkward and unnatural.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra