What a Small World/[Qué chiquito es el mundo]

Object Details


What a Small World/[Qué chiquito es el mundo]


Manuel Álvarez Bravo (Mexican, 1902 - 2002)






Gelatin silver print


16.4 x 24.4 cm (6 7/16 x 9 5/8 in.)


© Colette Urbajtel/Archivo Manuel Álvarez Bravo, SC

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Caught mid-stride, two figures approach each other on an otherwise empty road. Carefully mincing her steps, the young woman carries a parcel; in Manuel Alvarez Bravo's eyes, she is making an offering. The young man, on the other hand, hurries along, propelled forward by his lengthy gait. Alvarez Bravo saw the man's movement as flight, as if he were hiding or running away. Above them, a different kind of movement stirs the clothelines, as laundry items saturated with midday sun blow in the breeze. Though their paths are about to cross, the lives of these two people may never connect. Alvarez Bravo's image captures the tension of encounters on city streets and illustrates the indifference that people express towards one another in urban environments.


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

Roche, Denis. Manuel Alvarez Bravo (Paris: Photogalerie, 1976?), pl. XI.

Livingston, Jane. M Alvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Boston, Mass.: D. R. Godine; Washington, D.C.: Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1978), pl. 2.

Perez, Nissan N. Dreams--Visions--Metaphors: The Photographs of Manuel Alvarez Bravo, exh. catalogue, essay by Ian Jeffrey (Jerusalem: Israel Museum, 1983), pl. 4.

Salas Pablo Ruíz Picasso. Manuel Álvarez Bravo, exh. cat. (Madrid: Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Bellas Artes y Archivos, 1985), pl. 35.

Musée de Arte Moderne. Manuel Alvarez Bravo: 303 Photographies, 1920-1986 (Paris: Paris-musées; Paris audiovisuel, 1986), pl. 123.

Manuel Alvarez Bravo: Recuerdo de Unos Años, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992), fig. 3.