Graciela Iturbide's Lens

April 4, 2015

During the fall of 2011 and the winter of 2012, California-based ROSEGALLERY and The Lapis Press hosted Mexican photographer Graciela Iturbide as their artist-in-residence. The experience resulted in a publication titled Criba del cielo, a hand-bound portfolio of 6 pigmented ink prints of Los Angeles through the lens of Graciela Iturbide. The book was also presented at the 2012 Paris Photo.


Criba del Cielo

The Lapis Press revisits Criba del cielo as one of its highlights from the past 30 years. This limited edition portfolio, whose title translates as “heaven’s screen”, contains a new take on the city of Los Angeles through black and white images of the sky through a variety of nets, wires and fences. Graciela Iturbide’s photo-camera points up, and the artificial sieves slice up her frame into detailed pieces of texture, forming geometric grids. While “cielo” could also mean “heaven”, “crib” could also refer to “lamina cribrosa”, a structure between the optic nerve and the brain. The artist used it as a poetic metaphor, a filter between the sky and the city.

Graciela Iturbide’s Photography

Graciela Iturbide is a renowned photographer born in Mexico City. Her love for the medium started in her early age, while her skills achieved perfection after she met the legendary photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, at the Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos. After studying filmmaking, she dedicated her pictures to everyday life, influenced by the works of Josef Koudelka,Sebastiao Salgado and Henri Cartier-Bresson. Graciela Iturbide mostly works in black and white. By the end of the 1970s, she released her first collection, titled Mujer Angel, considered one of the important feminist artworks. The project featured portraits of economically, politically and sexually independent Mexican women in the village of Juchitán de Zaragoza, Mexico. This body of work influenced her next images of female figures. One of the major concerns in her work has been “to explore and articulate the ways in which a vocable such as ‘Mexico’ is meaningful only when understood as an intricate combination of histories and practices.”

Graciela Iturbide. Courtesy of The Lapis Press

Graciela Iturbide. Courtesy of The Lapis Press

The Awards

Considered one of the most celebrated Latin American artists, Graciela Iturbide has won many awards for her beautiful and emotional photography of indigenous population of Mexico. In 1987, she has won the W. Eugene Smith prize for photography, a first prize award from France’s Mois de la Photo, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1988. In 2008 she received the Hasselblad Foundation Photography Award. Graciela Iturbide is a founding member of the Mexican Council of Photography. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is included in many major museum collections including those of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Graciela Iturbide’s Criba del cielo is published by The Lapis Press and ROSEGALLERY.

Graciela Iturbide – Criba del cielo, 2012. Photo via    Facebook

Graciela Iturbide – Criba del cielo, 2012. Photo via Facebook

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