SPOKANE, Wash. – The Jundt Art Museum at Gonzaga University will showcase silver gelatin prints from the Gonzaga University Collection by Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Robert Doisneau, Alen MacWeeney, and Garry Winogrand in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibit opens Aug. 12 and continues through Nov. 19.
This exhibit features four photographers of extraordinary vision who produced striking records of their native lands. In the early 1920s, along with artists like Edward Steichen and Imogen Cunningham, they helped to establish photography as an art form.
Alvarez Bravo’s photographs represent the best of Mexican photography of the 1930s and ’40s. Growing up during the Mexican revolution, he encountered death nearly every day and wanted to create photographs with meaning. The Surrealist artists, particularly Andre Breton, influenced his work resulting in “staged scene” photos filled with symbolism. Alvarez Bravo learned European photographic techniques from Hugo Brehne, who in turn introduced him to Wilhelm Kahlo, a German photographer and father of famous painter Frida Kahlo. Alvarez Bravo also had a teaching career that lasted more than 30 years. He exhibited with some of the top photographers in his 20s and 30s and would eventually be honored on his 100th birthday with a retrospective exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum and others.
Born and educated in Dublin, MacWeeney began his photo career at 16 as a press photographer for the Irish Times. He became an assistant to fashion photography icon Richard Avedon and later moved to Paris. For most of his life MacWeeney was based out of New York and since then has worked as an editorial and commercial photographer. He is known for the “directed” picture rather than pure street photography. His work has appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Esquire, Travel & Leisure, Harper’s, and The Smithsonian. His pictures are in permanent collections at The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, George Eastman House, and the Art Institute of Chicago to name a few.
One of France’s most noted photographers, Doisneau chronicled the everyday life of the French people over the course of many decades. He studied engraving at the Ecole Estienne in Chantilly but found his education outdated when he tried to find employment as a lithographer. Later, while working in the ad department of a pharmaceutical company, he would learn photography as a hobby. He was drafted in 1939 and was forced to earn a living making photos for postcards. However, as a member of the Resistance, Doisneau used his skills as an engraver to forge passports and identification papers. His photos of the occupation of Paris and its liberation are considered to be masterpieces.
Known for his documentation of U.S. cities in the mid-20th century, Winogrand is an American original. He studied painting and photography at Columbia University and attended a photojournalism class taught by Alexey Brodovich at The New School for Social Research. Winogrand would take to the streets with his prefocused, wide-angle lens camera and let the scene determine the outcome. Many of his photographs of the 1960s and ’70s reflect the social and political attitudes of the time and captured the energy of the events he was photographing. Winogrand died from cancer at an early age but would leave behind more than 300,000 unedited images and 2,500 undeveloped rolls of film, some of which have been published posthumously.
A free public walk-through with Karen Kaiser, assistant curator for education, will be held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 9.
The museum’s exhibitions are free and open to the public from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and noon- 4 p.m. on Saturdays; closed Sundays and school holidays. For more information, please contact Karen Kaiser at (509) 313-6613 or via e-mail.