Stranded in Paradise

Just in time for Arizona's fascist treatment of Mexicans and suspected Mexicans, the Frost Museum opens "Paul Strand in Mexico" an exhibit of the modernist photog's sympathetic portrait of our neighbors below the border. Shot in the 1930s, the photos show a black-and-white world of stark landscapes, baroque churches, dusty religious sculptures, leather-skinned campesinos, indigenous and mestizo men, and stoic women and children.

Strand's style of abstract forms and humanistic portraits would later pollinate the work of Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He shot social realist photos, which, in an era of McCarthyism, incited G-men to trail his every move. If he were alive today, his talk of the “greater good” and “unity of all people” would land him on the Tea Party’s blacklist. Sounds like an endorsement to us. “Paul Strand in Mexico” also includes his film Redes and his letters with Stieglitz and O’Keeffe.
May 26-Aug. 1, 2010

 
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