“Graciela Iturbide shows people in real surroundings, but she brings something surreal into the picture, adds magic to the banal everyday life.”

Christian Huther, Frankfurter Neue Presse, 09.03.2019

“Iturbide's photographs place themselves in the documentary tradition and yet remain mysterious. This interaction can now be seen in the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt, which is currently presenting the famous Mexican photographer in her first retrospective in Germany, thus inviting visitors to discover the artist.”

Christian Riethmüller, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12.03.2019

“With a precise eye for the unusual and an unmistakable style, Iturbide leaves a deep impression on the viewer.”

Frankfurter Rundschau, 14.03.2019

“Black and white photographs like the "Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas" taken in 1979 in Juchitán in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca hit the heart because such images have become unusual today: deep, existential images that illuminate people's lives and deaths.”

Marc Peschke,, 27.03.2019​​​​​​​



Duration: March 08 – June 30, 2019

Opening: Thursday, March 07, 2019, 7 pm


Curator tours with Celina Lunsford

Sunday, March 17, 2019, 3 pm

Sunday, April 07, 2019, 3 pm

Sunday, May 05, 2019, 3 pm

With her black and white images GRACIELA ITURBIDE brings us the shadows of human existence. Traditions and their fragility, belief and religion, community and death are common themes for the artist. Within a five-decade career she has built an oeuvre that is fundamental for understanding the development of photography in Mexico and the rest of Latin America. The Fotografie Forum Frankfurt (FFF) honours this icon of Latin American photography, who was born in 1942 in Mexico-City, with her first retrospective in Germany. The exhibition has been organised by Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid, and in cooperation with the FFF highlights seminal works from all creative phases of this exceptional photographer.  

On view are early works such as her first major photographic project “Juchitán de las Mujeres” (The Women’s Juchitán), which was produced between 1979 and 1986. This documentation of the matriarchal community on the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, made Iturbide renowned – and her characteristic picture language visible. The artist often creates images that seem to shift between the documentary and the lyrical, mirroring the diversity of life itself.   

To illustrate cultural tensions between two civilizations, for example the question how indigenous culture can continue to survive within western culture, Iturbide focused on the Seri, an indigenous group of the Sonoran Desert. Furthermore the FFF showcases portraits of the „White Fence“ gang members, from the 1980s in Los Angeles, intimate images made in the house of Frida Kahlo, as well as photographs of mythical gardens, landscapes and birds, which Iturbide created in her homeland and on her visual itinerary in countries such as India, Italy, Korea or Madagascar. 

Graciela Iturbide grew up in a traditional Catholic family. She first studied film at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (Independent National University of Mexico) and then, inspired by her mentor Manuel Álvarez Bravo discovered photography as her true vehicle for creative expression.It also helped her to cope with a personal tragedy, the death of her six-year-old daughter. Iturbide’s photographs have been exhibited all over the world and she has received multiple recognitions for her work, amongst others with the W. Eugene Smith Award, the International Grand Prize of the Museum of Photography in Hokkaido, Japan and the prestigious Hasselblad Award (2008). Graciela Iturbide lives and works in Coyoacán, the artists’ quarter of Mexico-City.

An accompanying publication is available at FFF: GRACIELA ITURBIDE. Texts by Marta Dahó, Juan Villoro and Carlos Martín García. 2018, Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid; English, 292 p., ISBN-10: 8417047700.

    The exhibition is organized by Fundación MAPFRE in cooperation with the Fotografie Forum Frankfurt. The project is supported by Frauenreferat, City of Frankfurt. 

    Please wait