Timeless Mexico: The Photographs of Hugo Brehme

Hugo Brehme's beautifully composed, timeless images of lo mexicano—cacti and pyramids, Indian children and marketplaces, colonial buildings and snow-capped volcanoes—were widely distributed and critically acclaimed both in Mexico and around the world. Noted critic Olivier Debroise characterized Brehme as "both the first modern photographer of Mexico and the last representative of its old guard and of a certain nineteenth-century vision." Brehme worked in Mexico from 1905 to his death in 1954 and served as an early mentor to Mexico's most famous photographer, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, as well as a significant influence on Golden Age filmmakers Gabriel Figueroa and Emilio "El Indio" Fernández. Brehme-esque imagery even appears in the work of American filmmaker John Ford and Russian filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein.

Timeless Mexico presents an outstanding selection of Hugo Brehme's photographs, ranging from imagery of the Mexican Revolution to scenic landscapes, colonial architecture, and the everyday life of indigenous peoples. Susan Toomey Frost, who has collected Brehme's photography for many years, provides an illuminating introduction to his life and work. She also describes his practice of printing and distributing his photographs as collectible postcards—a practice that, together with publication in countless books, magazines, and tourist brochures, gave Brehme's work the wide circulation that made his images of Mexico iconic. Art historian Stella de Sá Rego authoritatively discusses Brehme's place in the history of Mexican photography, especially within Pictorialism, as she reveals how a man from Eisenach, Germany, came to create an enduring visual mythology of the essence of Mexico.

 

 

Timeless Mexico: The Photographs of Hugo Brehme is available for sale via Amazon.