Gabriel Figueroa – Centenario

Image Credit: UBC Library

In collaboration with the Consulate General of Mexico, the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre presented a month-long art exhibition, “Centenario” featuring works by Gabriel Figueroa. This photo exhibition celebrated the Mexico’s bicentenary anniversary with an opening reception was held at the Learning Centre with consular general of Mexico and his accompanying guests.

Gabriel Figueroa Mateos (April 24, 1907 – April 27, 1997) was a Mexican cinematographer who worked both in Mexican cinema and Hollywood.  Figueroa studied painting at the Academia de San Carlos, and at the age of 16 he became interested in photography thanks to José Guadalupe Velasco. He later befriended other photographer, such as Gilberto Martínez Solares and Raúl Martínez Solares, and these three would then move on to cinematography.

Gabriel made his entry in the movie industry in 1932 as a photographer of stills for the film Revolución of Miguel Contreras Torres. He was later one of the 20 cinematographers hired for the Howard Hawks film Viva Villa!. After a few jobs he obtained a scholarship to study in the United States where Gregg Toland taught Figueroa his own style of lighting techniques.

One of his main collaborators was Fernández, with whom he shot twenty films, some of which won prizes at the Venice Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival, and theBerlin Film Festival. After collaborating with Fernández and Buñuel on their films with such actors as Dolores del RíoPedro ArmendárizMaría FélixJorge Negrete,Columba Domínguez, and Silvia Pinal, Figueroa has come to be regarded one of the most influential cinematographers in México.

For photos of this exhibition, please find here.

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