Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico
February 28, 2020 - May 25, 2020
National Museum of Women in the Arts,
1250 New York Ave. N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20005

Graciela Iturbide has been photographing her native Mexico for more than 50 years. She always uses black-and-white film and natural light—an approach that underscores her work’s pure, raw subject matter, which includes indigenous cultures, elaborate rituals, and artistic heritage. This exhibition, organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, divides 140 photographs into nine themes. Everything captured by Iturbide’s lens looks dignified, especially plants and animals. My favorite of her images (sadly, not in the show) is of an ivory goat, adorned with a headdress of flowers and laying, eyes closed, on a concrete slab. It’s a picture of tranquility until you read its title: La danza de la cabrita, antes de la matanza (The Little Goat’s Dance, Before the Slaughter), La Mixteca (1992). Such fleeting moments of beauty, even in the face of cruelty, is what Iturbide does best.  —Tiffany Jow

Photo: Graciela Iturbide, Mujer Ángel (Angel Woman), Sonoran Desert, 1979

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