Introduced to the medium by her husband, acclaimed photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lola Alvarez Bravo (1903-1993) is widely considered to be the first woman photographer in Mexico. An eminent artist of the country's post-revolution renaissance (who socialized with the likes of Frieda Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Tina Modotti), she became renowned as a photojournalist and portraitist.
With texts by scholar Elizabeth Ferrer, the book introduces a vast collection of her work, ranging from her debuts in the 1920s until the end of her career, which spanned more than fifty years. The chronological presentation is a wistful choice that shows the blossoming of her talent and technique. Her artistic eye is already remarkable in her early work, which captures the reverie of what appears as a slow, quiet, and sometimes strange Mexico. But she grows into her own after her separation from husband Manuel in the late 1930s, gaining a distinct style and a masterful hand.
Her compositions are flawless, and her portraits are splendidly studied; but the real gems of her work lie in her street photography, which has an immobile quality that simply demands more contemplation. The effect is one that gives importance to every detail, an essential aspect of documentary photography. She freezes time on flimsy, lighthearted scenes with the same quality as she does arresting moments - like they lasted an eternity.