by Andrea Rosen, Curator of Under the Surface.
In Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s Two Pairs of Legs, 1931, a peeling billboard shows only the legs of its fashion models, laying bare the façade beneath. The image appears flat, but the dark windows suggest an unknown private space lurking behind. Álvarez Bravo depicted with sensitive lyricism and rich symbolism the culture, people, and landscape of his native Mexico. His often mystical images prompted surrealist leader André Breton, who met Álvarez Bravo on a visit to Mexico in 1938, to dub him a “natural surrealist.”
Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902–2002)
Two Pairs of Legs, ca. 1928-29
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Michael G. Frieze, Class of 1960 1979.81.10
Colette Urbajtel / Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC