Valdir Cruz’s Photos Bring Rural Brazil to Manhattan

Valdir Cruz, Gypsy Woman I (1991) Image courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art.

On September 18, New York’s Throckmorton Fine Art will open “Guarapuava,” an exhibition of photographs by Valdir Cruz. Despite having lived in the United States for 30 years, Cruz’s body of work is largely focused on the people and landscapes that define his native Brazil.

With remarkable complexity, he has chronicled life in his hometown of Guarapuava over the course of three decades. From portraits like Gypsy Woman I, which highlights its subject’s piercing and hardened stare, to Tropeada I, where the photographer immortalizes an extinct way of life with gauchos and cattle receding toward the horizon. The distinctive landscapes and magnificent waterfalls of the region are recurring characters in this body of work.

While Throckmorton is known for displaying largely silver, platinum, and vintage prints, this exhibition is a collection of large-format pigment-on-paper works. Over the course of 12 years, the artist and his master printer, Leonard Bergson, have developed a proprietary printing process through which they create exquisite images.

Photographs from this body of work are Cruz’s most distinctive and well-known, and are featured in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the New York Public Library, and the Brooklyn Museum, as well as several private collections.

Valdir Cruz, “Guarapuava” will be on display at Throckmorton Fine Art from September 18 to November 1, 2014.

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