Strokes, Flashes, and Jottings: The Lives and Work of Alice Rahon and Lola Alvarez Bravo

Student Author(s)

Sara Sanchez

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. María Claudia André

Document Type


Event Date



Lola Alvarez Bravo, the Mexican photographer, and Alice Rahon, the French writer and painter, developed as artists in postrevolutionary Mexico. Both stand as two influential characters in the group of female surrealist artists who settled in Mexico in the 1930s and 1940s. This presentation explores the lives and the artistic production of Bravo and Rahon. Introduced and influenced by their husbands, these two talented women were catapulted into the art world gaining worldwide recognition. Although they both divorced their husbands, these men—Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Wolfgang Paalen— figure, arguably, as the most influential men through out their artistic lives. Even though they never met, an invisible thread unites them through their common friendship with Frida Kahlo and their struggling journey to gain respect as female artists in their own right. Alice Rahon's writings and paintings portray the prehistoric mysticism that she sought and admired through her many trips; Lola Alvarez Bravo's black and white photographs expose the simple but cultural, daily life of Mexico. Overcoming many obstacles since their childhood, these women created their niche in the creative world, taking advantage of Mexico as their backdrop.

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