Professional Commission Third Prize Winner



© Pablo Lopez Luz, The Syngenta Photography Award 2013 

The main concern behind my work is the reinterpretation of the artistic approach to the concept of “landscape”. For five years, I worked on photographing the urban landscape of Mexico City and other major cities in Mexico, as well as different scenarios in nature around the country, approaching these places through an aesthetic deeply rooted in the historical tradition of painting, as well as in the history of photography. My specific intention is to reinterpret the classical notion of the Mexican landscape (present throughout the pictorial history of Mexican art), through a contemporary point of view, brought about by the presence of man and the relationship to his surroundings. This specific relationship between man and space is what brings most of my photographic work together, and is also probably the strongest viewpoint in both aesthetic and conceptual terms.

In this selection, including photographs from different cities in Mexico, the focus of the work is mainly directed towards the manipulated or constructed landscape of the city. Although there are numerous ways in which the work can be read or interpreted, my main concern behind this work is to portray the effect that overpopulation and the lack of structure or guidelines in the development of a city have had on the city’s terrain, land and population. The thesis of this project draws attention to several different subjects such as the social implications of living in these cities (urban vs rural societies), the modification and transformation of the natural space into the urban megalopolis and the historical emergence of a new landscape; a social landscape that remains animated, always expanding and in constant change.

I chose this specific group of photographs not only because they relate to this year’s theme ‘Rural-Urban’, but also because they work well together as a coherent group of images. However, throughout my career, the urban-rural, urban-natural relationship has always been behind my projects, both in Natura (2007-2008), a project about the naturalistic and idyllic landscapes of Mexico that remain untouched by the cities, and in Acapulco (2010-2011), where I shot aerial views of the tourism developments of the city, in an attempt to comment on the industry’s continuous attempt to recreate the natural scenarios that were there before they arrived.

In the presented series, Terrazo (2005-2009), the city is presented as a continuously shifting landscape, where the threat of the urban spread over the rural land is always present. Some of the images in this selection relate directly to the historical and pictorial landscapes of the Valley of Mexico City in the first part of the 20th century, where the natural valley remained yet unconquered. However in these photographs, where the presence of man can be linked to the roads dissecting the natural space, the city rests in the background, sometimes unseen, quickly reaching the unscathed terrain.

Pablo Lopez Luz

Born in Mexico City in the year 1979, he graduated from NYU after completing his MA in Art in 2006. He lives and works in Mexico City.
His work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions and solo shows in international museums and galleries such as:  SFMOMA (San Francisco, USA), Museum of Modern Art (Mexico City, Mexico), Carrillo Gil Contemporary Art Museum (Mexico City, Mexico), Centro Fotográfico Alvarez Bravo (Oaxaca, Mexico), Casa del Lago Museum (Mexico City, Mexico) Musee Quai de Branly (Paris, France), Insittuto Cervantes (Madrid, Spain), MARCO Testaccio (Rome, Italy), Guandong Museum of Art (Guandong, China), Pingyao Photography Festival (Pingyao, China), Moscow Museum Of Modern Art (Moscow, Russia), Sasha Wolf Gallery (N.Y, USA), Rose Gallery (L.A., USA), Arena Mexico Gallery (Gudalajara, Mexico) and Garash Gallery (Mexico City, Mexico).

Some of his most notable awards include: The Velazquez Grant (2005), awarded by the Madrid Cultural Council, the Jovenes Creadores Grant (2007, 2011) awarded by the  National Council for Art and Culture (FONCA) in Mexico, the Programa Arte Actual Grant (2008), Awarded by Bancomer and the Carrillo Gil Museum of Contemporary Art in Mexico and the IILA Photography Award (Residency) in Rome, Italy. He is also one of the winners of the Alt. +1000 Competition in Rossiniere, Switzerland.

In 2012 his first monographic book Pablo Lopez Luz, designed by Editons Toluca,  was published by the editiorial  house RM. His work has also been published in several reknown magazines including: FOAM Magazine (Amsterdam), Peeping Tom´s Digest (Germany), National Geographic Magazine (USA), Courier Magazine (France) and City Magzine (USA), as well as the mexican publications 192 Magazine, Revista Arquine, Revista Código, Revista Picnic and Revista Complot.
His photographs are part of the following prestigious art collections: SFMOMA collection, the Anna Gamazo de Abello LatinAmerican photography collection, The Mellon Bank Collection (NY), the Stanislas Poniatowsky Photography Collecton, the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico collection, the Carrillo Gil museum of Contemporary Art Collection and the Gellman Foundation art collection.

Pablo Lopez Luz´s  early plans for this year include the following exhibitons and venues: Alt+1000 award winners exhibition at Rossiniére, Switzerland, at an international Landscape Exhibiton at the prestigious Palace of Fine Arts Museum in Mexico City (Palacio de Bellas Artes), and will also be exhibiting his work in solo exhibitions at El Chopo Museum and Arroniz Art Gallery (both in Mexico City). 



Solo Exhibitions

April 2013. Pyramid.
Arroniz Gallery. Mexico City, Mexico.
July 2012. Ciudades y Memoria.
Centro Fotográfico Álvarez Bravo. Oaxaca, Mexico.
December 2011.  Al Final… El Horizonte.
MAF (Museo Archivo Fotografico). Mexico City, Mexico
September 2011.  (untitled ). Museum of Contermporary Art in Rome (MACRO Testaccio).  Rome Italy.
July 2008. Terrazo. Eloísa Jiménez Gallery. Culture House. Guanajuato. México

November 2007. Terrazo:views of Mexico City. Sasha Wolf Gallery. New York, NY. E.U.


August 2006. Terrazo.  Casa del Lago de Chapultepec Museum. México City
June 2006. Wire.
United Nation, New York, USA.

November 2005.  Ciudad de Mexico. Arena Mexico Art Gallery. Guadalajara, Mexico.

September 2003. Graffiti (Fotoseptiembre Festival). Universidad Iberoamericana. Mexico City.

Group Exhibitions

May 2013. Alt+1000 Exhibition.
Alt+100 Festival. Rossiniere, Switzerland.
April 2013. Paisaje 1969 – 2013
.  Museo Palacio de Bellas Artes (Museum of Fine Arts).
Mexico City.
October 2012. Futbol
. Museo Arte Contemporáneo de Monterrey. Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.
September 2012.  Ouroboros – A Mexican Cycle. Pingyao International Photography Festival. Pingyao, China.
July 2012.  Revisiones II, El Paisaje Fotográfico Mexicano. Patricia Conde Gallery.
Mexico D.F., Mexico.
March 2012.
Photography in Mexico: Selected Works from the Collections of SFMOMA and Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser. MuseSan Francisco Museum of Modern Art. (SFMOMA). USA

December 2011. Tiempo de Sospecha.
Museum of Modern Art Mexico (MAM), Mexico City, Mexico
September 2011.
Panoramas. Espacio y Territorio. José María Velasco Gallery. Mexico City, Mexico.
Julio 2011. What´s Next. Arles Photography Festival (La Roquette) France.
February 2011.
Laberinto de Miradas ¨Fricciones y Conflictos en Iberoamérica¨. Tabacalera Museum, Madrid, Spain.

September 2010. Lo Crudo Cocido.  IILA Gallery. FotoGrafia Festival Internaziionale di Roma. Rome, Italy.
July 2010. Laberinto de Miradas ¨Fricciones y Conflictos en Iberoamérica¨. Centro Cultural de España, Mexico, D.F.

Februrary 2010. Programa Arte Acual Bancomer/MACG Carrillo Gil Museum (contemporary art). Mexico D.F.
November 2006.
IX  Monterrey FEMSA Bienial X. Centro de las Artes, Monterrey,Nuevo León. Mexico.
October 2009. Presencias, Signos, Visiones.
Galería López Quiroga. Curated by: David Torrez.
Mexico, D.F.

September 2009. Photoquai. Musée Quai de Branly. Paris, France.
September 2009. Paradise City (contemporary Mexican Photography). Queretaro´s City Museum, Queretaro, Mexico.
April 2009. La Colección: Diálogos Fotográficos, Nuevas Adquisiciones.
Modern Art Museum (MAM), México D.F.
April 2009. Human Nature.
Houston Center for Photography. U.S.A.
November  2008.
Paris Photo. Rose Gallery. Paris, France
October 2008.
Laberinto de Miradas ¨Fricciones y Conflictos en Iberoamérica¨. Centro Cultural de España, Lima, Perú.

July 2008. Citámbulos – Journey to the Mexican Megalopolis. Deutsches Architektur Zentrum, Berlin, Alemania.
July 2008. I Moscow International Biennale for Young Art. Moscow Museum of Modern Art. Russia.
July 2008. Contemporary Mexican Photography. Enrique Guerrero Gallery. Mexico City.
June 2008. In Our Dreams.
Sasha Wolf Gallery, Nueva York, E.U.A.
June 2008. De Viaje.
Cervantes Institute of Madrid. PhotoEspaña Festival, Madrid, Spain.
November 2007. The Gaze of 45 Mexican Photographers. Guandong Museum of Art, China.
September 2007. Mio Photo Awad Exhibition. 
MiO Hall, TEnnoji MiO 12th floor. Osaka, Japon.

June 2007. Limiares Urbanos. Foto Rio 2007. Centro Cultural Correios, Río de Janeiro, Brasil. 
May 2007. VIII  Monterrey FEMSA Bienial. Centro de las Artes, Monterrey,Nuevo León. Mexico.

April 2007. MACO Art Fair (México Contemporary Art). Garash Gallery. Ciudad de México.

April 2007. XXVII Encuentro Nacional de Arte Jóven. Casa de la Cultura. Aguascalientes, México.
February 2007.  Celeste Greatest Hits II Contemporary Photography Auction.
Casa Lamm, México City.
December 2006. Tercera Bienal Nacional de Artes Visuales Yucatán. Yucatán, México.

November 2006. Allá por las Torres de Satélite.  El ECO Experimental Museum. México City.

November 2006. Video Fest 2K6. Bienal Internacional de Video y Cine. Baja California, México.

November 2006. Bienal de Monterrey Arteemergente, Nuevo León, México.

October 2006. Buenos Aires Photo 2006. Petrobras Award. . Palais de Glace, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

March 2006. Where we Live, North/South. Rosemberg Gallery, Barney Building (NYU). New York City.

August 2005. El Paisaje Artificial. Casa del Lago Museum. Mexico City, Mexico




2012. Winner of the Alt. + 1000 Competition. Alt. + 1000 Festival de la Photographie, Switzerland.
2011. Jóvenes Creadores Grant. Awarded by the FONCA  (National Council for Art and Culture), Mexico.
2010. Winner of the IIla Photography Award (residency award).
Italo-Latino American Institute. Rome, Italy.
2008. Programa Arte Actual Grant. Awarded by Bancomer and the Carrillo Gil Museum of Contemporary Art.
2007. Jóvenes Creadores Grant. Awarded by the FONCA  (National Council for Art and Culture), Mexico.

2007. Acquisition Award. XXVII Encuentro Nacional de Arte Jóven. Aguascalientes, México.
2005. Petrobras Award (8 awardees). Argentina.  

2005. Velazquez Grant. Awarded by the Madrid Cutlural Council. Spain.






2013. Pyramid. Editions Toluca. (UPCOMING)
2013. MPBA (Museo Palacio de Bellas Artes). The Murals, Contemporary Interpretations.
Concaulta. MPBA

2013. Urbes Mutantes. Latin American Phtography. Leticia and Stanislas Poniatowsky Collection. Museo de Arte de la República, Colombia.

2012. La Casa de Luis Barragan, Un Valor Universal. (Various photographers). Editorial RM. S.A. de C.V. 2011

2011. Pablo Lopez Luz (Monographic Book). Editorial RM, S.A. de C.V. 2010

2009. The Multiple Faces of Globalization. BBVA Bank. Turner Ed.

2008. Latin American Photography. Anna Gamazo de Abelló Collection. RM Editorial, June 2008.



2013. Zoom Magazine #109 international. Winter 2013. Zoom. Pablo López Luz. Pgs. 66- 69

2012. 192 Magazine #25. Chandigarh. Un Sueño Inconcluso. (photographs and text). Pgs. 51-63

2012. 192 Magazine #22. Artistas en su Estudio (Artists in their studios).  Pgs. 132-133

2012. Travesías Magazine #121. Navegar el Danubio. Photo. Pablo Lopez Luz. Text. Diego Flores Magón. Pg. 62-76

2011. Picnic Magazine #40. MARINOS (Sailors). Pablo López Luz. Acapulco. Pgs. 15-21. Olas (Photo Editor) pgs. 22- 43

2011. Peeping Tom´s Digest #2. MEXICO. Peeping Tom. Pgs. 176 – 177

2011. National Geographic Magazine. March 2011. Pablo Lopez Luz. Urban Superspraul. pg. 84 – 85

2010. FOAM magazine. Talent ISSUE 2010.  Pablo Lopez Luz. Natura. (Portafolio and interview). Pgs. 35 – 44-

2010. Arquine Magazine #53. Autum 2010. Landscape Under Construction. Pgs. 02-05

2010. Picnic Magazine #34. Pablo Lopez Luz. Paisajes (Hong Kong. Etiopia) pg. 18 – 21

2010. Nuestra Mirada on/line Magazine. (  Pablo Lopez Luz. Terrazo. By Carlos Paredes

2009. City Magazine #64. Action: City Movement. “Sand Trap”. Pg. 20

2009. Courrier International Magazine. Notre Mexique. “Et le Dieux Creerent Mexico” 12 -18 March 2009. Pg. 25 – 27

2008. Complot Magazine #118. December – February 2009. Ocio Óptico – Pablo López. Pg. 52 – 57

2008. Código Magazine #44. April-May. 10 Nuevos Artistas – Pablo López. Pg. 50, 51, 52

2007. Código Magazine #41. October-November. Pablo López – Portafolio. Pg. 56 – 63

2007. Picnic Magazine #XV. Terrazo (Interview and Photographic Portafolio)




2012. Ouroboros, a Mexican Cycle (Catalogue – Pingyao Photo Festival). Cultural Development Consulting

2010. Lo Crudo Cocido. Premio IILA-Fotografia 2010 (Exhibiton Catalogue) IILA, Punctum Press

2009. Photoquai Catalogue. Catalogue for the 2nd Quai de Branly Museum Photo Bienial

2008. Latin American Photography (Catalogue). Anna Gamazo de Abelló Collection. RM Editorial, June 2008

2008. 45 Miradas Mexicanas (Exhibition Catalogue) Guandong Museum of Art

2008. De Viaje (Exhibition Catalogue). Instituto Cervantes de Madrid

2008. Lugar/Place. (Photoespana catalogue). Spain 2008. ¨De Viaje¨ Exhibition. Instituto Cervantes de Madrid