Ruin (A)/[Ruina (A)]

Object Details


Ruin (A)/[Ruina (A)]


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)






Gelatin silver print


19.4 x 24.3 cm (7 5/8 x 9 9/16 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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The images of ruin and decay that Manuel Alvarez Bravo made in the 1930s reflect his experience of reaching adulthood during the Mexican Revolution. In this composition, what once may have been the entrance to a large building looms large in the foreground. The corroded structure evokes the architectural ruins of Mexico's formerly great civilizations--ballcourts, temples, and palatial compounds that served as settings for dramatic rituals. Perhaps Alvarez Bravo was considering this when he named the image Ruin (A), an ambiguous title typical of the ones archaeologists use to demarcate sites.


Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Mexican, 1902 - 2002

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Recuerdo de unos años (September 22 to December 6, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), September 22 to December 6, 1992
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
Arti & Archittetura, 1900-2000 (October 2, 2004 to February 13, 2005)
  • Palazzo Ducale (Genova), October 2, 2004 to February 13, 2005

Del Conde, Teresa. Mucho Sol (México: Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1989), p. 18.