The history of photography in Latin America is rich and diverse. The work of Latin American photographers often reflects the key historical, social, political, and aesthetic forces at work in the region. A variety of people and groups brought the photographic medium to Latin America in the 19th century: foreign invaders, such as the French forces seeking to place Maximillian on the throne in Mexico; amateur artists looking for inspiration, such as Adela Breton; settlers searching for a way to earn a living, such as the German Guillermo Kahlo, the father of the renowned artist Frida Kahlo; and the numerous foreign companies seeking profits and needing to illustrate their operations to investors.
FEATURED ARTIST : Flor Garduño (1957)
1957 Flor Garduño was born in Mexico City on March 21st. When she was 5 years old, her family moved to a farm 25 km away from the capital. There, living with the animals, having contact with nature shaped her character as a child.
1976 – 79 She studied visual art at the Antigua Academia de San Carlos (UNAM) focusing on the search for the structural aspects of form and space. She was especially interested in the work at the atelier of her teacher Kati Horna, Hungarian photographer who left Europe during the escalation of national socialism. Horna’s personality coupled with the magical and expressive dimension of her photography had a strong impact on the development of Flor’s work. She gave up her studies to work as the darkroom assistant to Manuel Álvarez Bravo, one of the most prestigious Mexican photographers. Printing portfolios in silver, platinum, and palladium processes Flor honed her photographic skills. From then her career as a photographer was defined.
1981 – 82 She began working at the Secretary of Public Education under the direction of the photographer Mariana Yampolsky, visiting remote rural areas in order to find appropriate subjects for school books. This experience gave Flor the opportunity to know her country and the life of the indigenous people. Thus she found her own distinct style. An example is the photograph El agua. This disquieting picture shows a women emerging from a background of falling water and dark foliage. This archetypical vision is not just a description but transposes one into the magic of dreams.
1982 -84 Her first individual exhibition took place at the Galería José Clemente Orozco in Mexico City. She participated in the exhibition “Four from Mexico” at the Mexican Museum in San Francisco. At a joint exhibition at the Musée des Enfants in Paris, France, she presented her photographs on the subject “Death in Mexico” and at the Casa de la Cultura in Juchitán, Oaxaca, Mexico.
1985 -87 Encouraged by the enthusiasm and editorial support of the painter Francisco Toledo, Flor published her first book Magia del juego eterno (The Magic of the Eternal Game) which contained 6 years of work. This work was introduced at the Galería de Arte Contemporaneo in Mexico City and at La Chambre Claire during the “Mois de la Photo” in Paris, France). Exhibition of Magia del juego eterno (The Magic of the Eternal Game) at La Chambre Claire during the “Mois de la Photo” in Paris, France. She participated in several joint exhibitions, including exhibits at the Gallery San Francisco Camera Work. Her second bookBestiarium was published by U. Bär Verlag, Zurich, Switzerland. An individual exhibition was held at the Casa de America Latina in Monte Carlo.
1988-93 Exhibition of Bestiarium at the Galería de Arte Contemporáneo in Mexico City.Group exhibitions in Europe, Canada and USA. Received the Arts fellowship for photography from the Mexican government. Received a Swiss Federal Grant for photography. Group exhibitions at Montpellier and during the Rencontres d’Arles, France. The Swiss magazine du dedicated the January issue entirely to Flor. In March the Flor Garduño, curriculum vitae, 2. Magazine “Tages Anzeiger”, Zurich, published her work. In April the bookWitnesses Of Time appeared in 5 languages and 7 editions (Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, England, USA, Mexico). The exhibition tour of Witnesses Of Time (100 prints) traveled to: Musée des Elysées, Lausanne, Switzerland; Reiss Museum, Mannheim, Germany; Fotofest Houston; Art Institute of Chicago; Museo de Bellas Artes, Mexico City; Center of Creative Photography, Tucson; Americas Society, New York; Meadows Museum, Dallas and Museo dell’Arte, Mendrisio, Switzerland. Nikon Gallery, Zürich presented a selection of her photographs from du magazine. Collective exhibitions: Canto a la Realidad. Fotografía Latinoamericana. 1860-1992. Casa de América, Madrid, Spain. Received a grant from the Bundesamt für Kultur, Bern, Switzerland.
1994 She published her fourth book Mesteños, photographs of horses and Native Americans. The exhibition tour Witnesses Of Time traveled to Mexico in Oaxaca, Monterrey, Guadalajara, Jalapa. For Image and Memory: Latin American Photography, 1880-1992 she exhibited her photos at the Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio, USA, and at the Meadows Museum of Art, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA.
2000-01 TV-film (biographic/documentary) by Elanimaga in co-production with Canal Once, Mexico and Prodest Communications, Rome. Exhibition La Maschera E L’uomo at Cagliari (Sardegna, Italia) at the Exma’ Centro Comunale d’Arte e Cultura. Exhibition Witnesses Of Time at the Museo Ken Damy, Brescia, Italy. Personal exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 South Michigan Avenue, Chicago, USA. Three persons exhibition (together with Graciela Iturbide and Cristina Garcia Rodero) at the Photographs Do Not Bend Gallery, Dallas USA. Personal exhibition at Throckmorton Gallery, New York, USA. Member of the jury “Premio Nacional de Fotografia” in Bogotà, Columbia.Collective exhibition entitledLa natura della natura morta, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna, Italy.
2002-03 Collective exhibition Latin American Artists, 1980-2000 at the IDB Cultural Center Art Gallery, Washington D.C., USA. She publishes her new book Flor / Inner Light (Bulfinch Press, New York/Boston, USA – Edition Braus, Heidelberg, Germany – Lunwerg, Madrid, Barcelona, Spain – Peliti Associati, Rome, Italy. Personal exhibition Donna at The Swiss Cultural Center in Milan, Italy. Exhibition Platinum Works by Flor Garduño at the Galleria Sozzani in Milan, Italy. Personal exhibition Flor and Platinum Works at the Museo comunale d’arte moderna in Ascona, Switzerland, and at the Centro de la Imagen in México City, Mexico. Personal exhibition Flor Garduño – Flor at the Galerie Photonet, Wiesbaden, Germany. Personal exhibition at: GAM Galleria d’arte moderna, Bologna, Italy, Flor and Witnesses Of Time; Jackson Fine Art Inc. Atlanta GA, USA; Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, USA, Flor; Andrew Smith Gallery, Santa Fe NM, USA; Throckmorton Gallery, New York, USA; Naples Museum, Naples, Florida, USA, Flor; Museo de fotografía Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Oaxaca, México; Cinemateca de Monterrey, México; Michael Dunev Art Projects, Girona, Spain.
2004-06 Personal exhibition at: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago de Chile, Chile, Flor; Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales de Montevideo, Uruguay, Flor; Galeria Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico,Sueños Y Metafores; Joseph Bellows Gallery, La Jolla, CA, USA; Mois de la photographie, Paris, France, selection of Flor and Witnesses Of Time; Galerie Art75 Yves di Maria, Paris, France, selection of Flor andWitnesses Of Time; Museum Veluwezoom Museum, Doorwerth Castle Netherlands, Flor.Lowe Art Gallery, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York, USA, Witnesses Of Time; Etherton Gallery, Tucson, Arizona, USA,Flor; Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland, Witnesses Of Time; Museo Nacional de Arte, La Paz, Bolivia, Flor; Centro de la Fotografía, El Ojo Ajeno, Lima, Peru, Flor; Galería Marta Traba, Memorial de America Latina de Sao Paulo, Brasil, Flor; Direccion General de Museos, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Flor; Huret & Spector Gallery, Emerson College, Boston, MA, USA, Witnesses Of Time; Mai Manó, Casa de la Fotografía, Budapest, Hungary, Flor; Galeria Omar Alonso, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, Silent Natures; Spazio Officina, Chiasso, Switzerland, Silent Natures. Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, AZ, USA, June 9 – September 3, Flor; Biennale della Fotografia, Brescia, Italy, June 10 – September 5, Silent Natures & Fantastic Women; Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Rome, Italy, October 5 – January 4, 2007, FLOR.
2007-08 Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles, USA, Fantastic Women; Riva Yares Gallery, Santa Fe, USA,Fantastic Women; Guilford College Art Gallery, Greensboro, NC, USA, Flor; Centro Português de Fotografía, Porto, Portugal,Witnesses Of Time. Centro Português de Fotografía, Porto, Portugal, Fantastic Women (up to March 16th); Pente10, Lisboa, Portugal, Fantastic Women / Silent Natures; Holden Luntz Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA, Flor Etherton Gallery, Tucson, Arizona, USA, Fantastic Women / Silent Natures; Throckmorton Gallery, New York, USA, Fantastic Women / Silent Natures; Instituto de México, Paris, France, November 19 – February 10 , Collective exhibition: Transmigration: Quatres photographes mexicains en Europe (Flor Garduño – Polonia, Cristina Kahlo, Raúl Ortega and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio).