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

Exhibition Presents Sensitive Portrait of the Mexican Peoples

Ottawa, Canada - January 7, 2000


 Un portrait sensible des Mexicains par la photographe Reva Brooks 
On January 21, 2000, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography will open an installation of photographs by Reva Brooks that explores the many moods, enduring customs and deep spiritual beliefs of the Mexican peoples.

The exhibition Reva Brooks: Photographer includes 27 black-and-white prints from the photographer's remarkable body of work. Brooks has enjoyed acclaim for these works in Mexico and the US; this exhibition will give Canadians a greater appreciation of her life work and her unfailing dedication to the expressive capacities of photography.

Reva Brooks was born in Toronto in 1913. She moved to San Miguel de Allende, Mexico with her husband Leonard Brooks in 1947 and began to document life around her new home, using a second-hand twin lens camera. Within a few short years, she had produced a remarkable body of work. Her sensitive portraits are exemplary of the humanist tradition in photography, which endeavours to express a sense of the universal through the individual.

In 1950, Edward Steichen purchased two of her works for the Museum of Modern Art. Two years later, one of her photographs was featured on the cover of the prestigious magazine Aperture, and she was included in the Museum of Modern Art's notable Family of Man exhibition in 1955. Brooks was invited in the early 1950s to Edward Weston's estate in Carmel, California, where she met and exchanged ideas with some of the leading lights in the photographic world of the day, including Weston, his son Brett and Ansel Adams. Her work has been exhibited widely and is included in many public and private collections.

Although Mexico has been her home and muse for the past fifty-two years, she has maintained her strong connection to her Canadian roots. In 1992, Reva and her husband, a painter and musician, established the Leonard and Reva Brooks Foundation at Queen's University in Kingston.

The exhibition has been sponsored by the Friends of the Brooks, in support of the Leonard and Reva Brooks Foundation. It will be shown at CMCP until May 14, coinciding with the Mexican Modern Art 1900-1950 exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada. Afterwards it will circulate across Canada as one of CMCP's travelling exhibitions.

The CMCP is an affiliate museum of the National Gallery of Canada.

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