Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

Mexico as Muse: Photographs 1923 - 1986 at the National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa, Canada - January 28, 2000


 « Mexique, ma Muse. Photographies 1923–1986 au Musée des beaux-arts du Canada » 
The National Gallery of Canada announces the opening of Mexico as Muse:Photographs 1923–1986, an installation of some 57 photographs drawn from the Gallery's permanent collection, on view from 11 February until 7 May 2000. At the core of the exhibition are photographs by internationally renowned artists Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston, and Paul Strand, accompanied by a selection of work by acclaimed photographers Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan, Eric Renner, Leon Levinstein, and Robert Bourdeau.
The splendour of Mexico's landscape and the spirituality of its people have long attracted travellers, artists, and writers, but post-revolutionary Mexico of the 1920s held a special allure. The photographers who made the artistic pilgrimage to Mexico during the 1920s and later, and whose work is shown here, were all affected differently by their Mexican experience. Henri Cartier-Bresson's intimate and intense images of people suggest a need to immerse himself in another culture; while for Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and Aaron Siskind, Mexico offered opportunities to pursue and deepen their interests in formalism, aboriginal culture, and visual abstraction, respectively.

"Mexico as Muse: Photographs 1923–1986 offers a rich and varied selection of some of the most exciting work housed in the Gallery's world-class collection of photographs", stated Pierre Théberge, Director, National Gallery of Canada. "The work presented here offers examples of important documentary, portrait, and formalist photography, inspired directly or in part by these artists' experience of a fascinating and stimulating culture."

Interviews with Ann Thomas, Curator, Photographs Collection at the National Gallery of Canada, and organizer of the exhibition, are available upon request.

Mexico as Muse: Photographs 1923–1986 has been organized as a complement to the exhibition Mexican Modern Art, 1900–1950, opening at the Gallery on 25 February 2000.

Louise Soucy
Chief, Marketing and Communications
tel. (613) 990-3142