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Wall Street Journal Review: Throckmorton Fine Art

Posted By Administration, Saturday, December 15, 2012
Updated: Thursday, January 02, 2014

Director's Cut: Celebrating Kraige Block's Fifteenth Anniversary as Director

Through January 5, 2013

There is a natural ease to the works selected by Kraige Block for his Director's Cut exhibition. A timeless sense surrounds the works and makes them all seem fresh. Dating from the present to 1920 even iconic images are seen anew. Block has been with the gallery for fifteen years and this selection is a set of personal favorites from the over 80 exhibitions he has organized.

A leader in the field of Latin American Photography it is no surprise to find a healthy selection of Latin artists, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide, Flor Garduño, and Luis Gonzalez Palma, alongside foreigners who worked in Latin America like Edward Weston, Tina Modotti and Nickolas Muray. All of the included artists have been influential to the field of photography, and all of them have left a mark on the generations of artists and appreciative public.

It is easy to see why these works have been so impactful. Each image is visually seductive. Often our eye is enticed by the natural beauty of the figure- the eyes of Fritz Henle's Portait of Nieve sentice, the bare body of Lucien Clergue's Nu Zebre and Gao Yuan's Untitled (Woman with book) spread out invitingly, the visage of an old woman Face with Fish by Javier Silva Meinel haunts, and the portrait of Frida Kahlo 'Classic' by Nickolas Muray is slowly piercing. The natural world plays into some of the aforementioned images and others as well and a thread of belonging weaves between works in a delightful way.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit Throckmorton Fine Art

Wall Street Journal Review:
by William Meyers

Director's Cut: Celebrating Kraige Block's Fifteenth Anniversary as Director

Throckmorton specializes in Latin American fine-art photography, so it is not surprising that Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Graciela Iturbide and Flor Garduño are among Kraige Block's favorites. The gallery director also includes foreigners who worked south of the Rio Grande, such as Edward Weston, Tina Modotti and Nickolas Muray. The pictures run from the 1920s to last year, but modernism is a constant strain throughout. About one-third of them have flora or fauna as important elements in their images, and it is only natural that Frida Kahlo—the unavoidable presence of 20th-century Mexican art—should be seen in two portraits. Mr. Muray's 1939 color picture of Ms. Kahlo is justifiably called "Classic": the ample red scarf draped around her shoulders, the eyebrows, the stance: It is quintessentially Kahloesque. Ms. Bravo's 1943 black-and-white candid of Ms. Kahlo on a bed seems to have been taken through a ceiling trapdoor.

Six of the 34 picks are by Mr. Weston, and they include "Pepper No. 35" (1930), no less startling today than it was more than 80 years ago. In Fritz Henle's "Portrait of Nieves" (1943), the bottom of her face is hidden behind an enormous leaf, so what we mostly see are her eyes—but Nieves, who was Diego Rivera's model, had delightfully sensual eyes. Why the naked woman in Javier Silva Meinel's "Arahuana, Iquitos, Peru" (2004) has one of the big fish wrapped around her neck, I have no idea.

Wall Street Journal Review

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