NEW YORK, Oct. 4 -- Throckmorton Fine Art is announced this week its Fall photography exhibition, Vistas de Peru. Highlighted in this exhibition are vintage photographs by Martin Chambi. Generally considered to be the greatest Peruvian photographer, Martin Chambi is now ranked among luminaries like Eugene Atget, August Sander , and Walker Evans to name only a few. Virtually unknown outside his native country, his work became widely shown after reprints made in 1978 by Edward Ranney and Victor Chambi were exhibited in 1979 at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; The Photographer's Gallery, London ; and in a retrospective exhibit at the University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque .
Chambi (1891 - 1973) was born near Coaza, a small Quechua Indian village to the north of Lake Titicaca in the high Andes, to a peasant family. He accompanied his father who went to work for a gold mine in the Carabaya Province. There he had his first contact with photography, learning the rudiments from the staff photographer of the mine. This chance encounter planted the spark that he might support himself one day as a professional photographer. With that idea in mind he set out for the city of Arequipa and became an apprentice and later assistant to photographer Max T. Vargas. Nine years later he opened his own studio in the busy market town of Sicuani. In1920 he moved to Cuzco and after a brief collaboration with Juan Manuel Figueroa Aznar, Chambi set up his studio in the Calle Marques. Over the next 20 years he traveled extensively throughout the region and became widely known within Peru as the only major indigenous photographer of his time. Writers, artists, journalists, and others made a point of visiting his housewhen in Cuzco. In 1950 a massive earthquake devastated Cuzco. Chambi's health began to worsen during this period, which subsequently led to the decline ofhis photography output. Several exhibitions followed over the next few years. He died in his old studio on Calle Marques in Cuzco in 1973.Vistas de Peru runs now through Nov. 11, 2006 at the gallery located at 145 E 57TH Street in New York City.
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