New acquisition of four works by Graciela Iturbide

Posted: 23 October 2012 by ESCALA in News  

ESCALA has purchased four artworks by internationally celebrated Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide thanks to two generous grants from the Art Fund and the Pinta Museums Acquisitions Programme. These acquisitions add to the existing photograph by Iturbide in the Collection, also purchased with the support of Pinta.

The works are:

Benares, India, 1999
Silver gelatin photograph on paper
21 x 34cm

Jardín botánico, Cactus Naturata., 1996-2004
Botanical Garden, Cactus Naturata.
Silver gelatin photograph on paper
27 x 26.5cm

Tecali, Puebla, 2011
Silver gelatin photograph on paper
18 x 17.8cm

Autorretrato en la casa de Trotsky, Coyoacán, México, 2006
Self-Portrait at Trotsky's House, Coyoacán, Mexico
Silver gelatin photograph on paper
17.7 x 17.7 cm

ESCALA purchased its first photograph by Graciela Iturbide at Pinta 2011 from Seville-based Galería Rafael Ortiz, with the help of a Pinta Museums Acquisitions Programme grant. The photograph is a black and white study of Frida Kahlo’s prosthetic leg, taken as part of the series El baño de Frida (Frida Kahlo’s Bathroom). This room, in Kahlo’s house in Coyoacán (now a museum) was closed at the request of Kahlo’s husband, Diego Rivera, on her death in 1954. When it was re-opened in 2005 Iturbide was invited to photograph some of Frida Kahlo’s most personal spaces and objects, including her back brace and artificial leg with its ornately tooled leather boot.

The reaction to this acquisition urged us to purchase a further four photographs shown at Pinta. The selected works: Benares, India; Tecalli; Cactus Naturata and Self-Portrait at Trotsky’s House, are not only beautiful examples of Iturbide’s photography, but they also relate closely to some of themes that are important to ESCALA based, as it is, at a very international, research-intensive university. ESCALA’s five Iturbides offer routes into, among other topics, the study of Latin American history and politics, conservation and museums, indigenous Mexican language and architecture, Surrealist photography and India’s informal economy.

ESCALA has been following Iturbide’s career since her work featured in Art in Latin America: The Modern Era, 1820-1980, the ground-breaking exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, London (also Madrid and Stockholm) curated by Dawn Ades, ESCALA Founding Director and Professor in the School of Philosophy and Art History (SPAH) at the University of Essex. Dr Cuauhtémoc Medina, a graduate of SPAH and ESCALA International Advisory Board Member, later wrote the Phaidon 55’s book on Graciela Iturbide in 2001 and Amanda Hopkinson, who is currently writing a history of Mexican photography, has agreed to write on ESCALA’s new acquisitions for our online catalogue.

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