Monday, October 22, 2007

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Out of the shoe box

The photographer's shots, rescued from storage, are on display at Rose Gallery in Santa Monica.

By Hugh Hart, Special to The LA Times

ON the wall of his studio darkroom in Mexico City, Manuel Alvarez Bravo posted a scrap of paper on which he'd scrawled "Hay Tiempo." "There is time."

In 2002, time ran out for Alvarez Bravo, who died at age 100. But by then, with photographs recasting everyday Mexican City street life as lyrical dreamscapes, he had created a celebrated body of work rooted in Mexico's post-revolution artistic renaissance that flourished in the 1930s.

At 95, Alvarez Bravo, slowed by ill health, revisited a lifetime's worth of themes, sifting through shoe boxes crammed with neglected proof sheets and negatives that had accumulated in his studio over the last 60 years, work he'd shunted aside in his perpetual push to produce something new.


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