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Gabriel Figueroa

The wide-ranging eye. Director of photography of Luis Buñuel

4 July - 18 September

10H00 - 19H30

Gabriel Figueroa Mateos (1907-1997) brought his wide-ranging eye to bear on more than half a century of Mexican cinema. In the course of a prolific image-making career he was a studio portraitist, photojournalist, stills man, lighting engineer, cameraman, director of photography and an emblematic figure in a dream factory that provided several generations of Mexicans with entertainment and an initiation into the world of the emotions.
The Figueroa filmography comprises over two hundred works displaying his technical skill, mastery of sophisticated framing and light and shade, an aesthetic affinity with the other visual arts and an ability to adapt to the changing rhythms of an art that was as much an industry as a form of diversion. Acclaimed at the world’s leading film festivals for his talent with lighting and the camera, he was called on by such celebrated directors as John Ford, Luis Buñuel and John Huston.
This exhibition in the form of a video installation offers an overview of the vivid repertoire of someone who brought to the screen the passions, faces and landscapes of a people chosen by the sun and darkly overwhelmed by tragedy. Moving through the exhibition, the viewer will discover, even if only fragmentarily, the sheer diversity of the genres Figueroa’s calling embraced: thrillers, comedies, tragicomedies, melodramas, historical epics and adaptations of novels and serials.
A trip through the real and illusory worlds the eye of a cameraman has enabled viewers to see, glimpse or imagine, the exhibition above all confirms the existence of a multitude of Mexicos—some of them no more than pure images of seduction.
Alfonso Morales, curator of the exhibition.
Gabriel Figueroa Mateos (1907-1997) brought his wide-ranging eye to bear on more than half a century of Mexican cinema. In the course of a prolific image-making career he was a studio portraitist, photojournalist, stills man, lighting engineer, cameraman, director of photography and an emblematic figure in a dream factory that provided several generations of Mexicans with entertainment and an initiation into the world of the emotions.The Figueroa filmography comprises over two hundred works displaying his technical skill, mastery of sophisticated framing and light and shade, an aesthetic affinity with the other visual arts and an ability to adapt to the changing rhythms of an art that was as much an industry as a form of diversion. Acclaimed at the world’s leading film festivals for his talent with lighting and the camera, he was called on by such celebrated directors as John Ford, Luis Buñuel and John Huston.This exhibition in the form of a video installation offers an overview of the vivid repertoire of someone who brought to the screen the passions, faces and landscapes of a people chosen by the sun and darkly overwhelmed by tragedy. Moving through the exhibition, the viewer will discover, even if only fragmentarily, the sheer diversity of the genres Figueroa’s calling embraced: thrillers, comedies, tragicomedies, melodramas, historical epics and adaptations of novels and serials.A trip through the real and illusory worlds the eye of a cameraman has enabled viewers to see, glimpse or imagine, the exhibition above all confirms the existence of a multitude of Mexicos—some of them no more than pure images of seduction.

Alfonso Morales, curator of the exhibition.

Exhibition produced by the Televisa Foundation in collaboration with the Rencontres d’Arles.
Exhibition venue: église des Frères-Prêcheurs.
Exhibition produced by the Televisa Foundation in collaboration with the Rencontres d’Arles.
Exhibition venue: église des Frères-Prêcheurs.