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Church, Mexico
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© Aperture Foundation

Paul Strand
American, Mexico, 1932 - 1933
Platinum print
4 5/8 x 5 13/16 in.
86.XM.683.79

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Paul Strand viewed Mexico's rural buildings as cultural and historical icons. In this image of a church, Strand created a study in mass, volume, light, and shadow. While one side of the building is bathed in light, the massive rear wall remains almost entirely obscured. Two small conical structures are affixed to the rear corners. At the far end of the main building, a bell tower stands, surmounted by a cross. A mysterious block, perhaps a chapel, juts out from the main building, unrelieved by doors or windows. For Stand, this stark and weathered church may have embodied both the material residue of colonial times and the everyday reality of Mexico's rural communities.