Split Nopal

Object Details

Title:

Split Nopal

Artist/Maker(s):

Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)

Culture:

Mexican

Place(s):

Mexico (Place created)

Date:

1970s

Medium:

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions:

24.1 x 19.1 cm (9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.)

Copyright:

© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

Credit Line:

Gift of Marc and Jane Nathanson

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The leaf of a nopal, or prickly pear cactus, once used by the Aztecs for medicinal purposes, becomes a study in shape and texture in Manuel Alvarez Bravo's sharply focused photograph. Split through the middle, the normally oblong leaf bears irregular pits that dot the surface like craters in the moon. The close range of Alvarez Bravo's lens and the leaf's segmentation lend an artisanal quality to this common Mexican plant.

Exhibitions
Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Optical Parables (November 13, 2001 to February 9, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 13, 2001 to February 17, 2002
  • Museo Nacional de Arte, (Mexico City), March 14 to June 2, 2002
  • Walker Art Center, (Minneapolis), November 10, 2002 to February 9, 2003