StudioSession-901.jpg Alejandro CartagenaCartagena will premiere works of art created for this exhibition

Rochester, N.Y., January 9, 2020—The George Eastman Museum has announced a new photography exhibition, Alejandro Cartagena: Photo Structure / Foto Estructura, which will open on January 31, 2020, in the museum’s Project Gallery.  Co-organized by the George Eastman Museum and the Chrysler Museum of Art, the exhibition will present the latest work, including several new pieces, by artist Alejandro Cartagena (Mexican, b. Dominican Republic, b. 1977). The exhibition and its accompanying audio tour will be presented in both English and Spanish.

For this latest body of work, Cartagena spent time sifting through landfills on the outskirts of Mexico City to collect thousands of discarded photographs—portraits, snapshots, and tourist views. Cartagena excises figures, faces, or other details from the found photographs and reconfigures the original compositions by either moving the cut fragments or removing them entirely. The altered photographs remain strangely whole and strikingly familiar, compelling the viewer to consider what gives a photograph meaning. His arrangements reveal that seemingly crucial aspects of an image are both central and incidental to our ability to understand the works.

Cartagena lives and works in Monterrey, in northeastern Mexico. His projects employ landscape and portraiture as a means to examine social, urban, and environmental issues. His work has been exhibited internationally and is part of public and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, the JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, and the George Eastman Museum. Cartagena is also a self-publisher and co-editor of photobooks and has been published internationally in magazines and newspapers such as the New York Times, Le Monde, and the New Yorker. He is the recipient of several awards, including the international Photolucida Critical Mass Book Award, the Lente Latino award in Chile, and the Premio IILA-FotoGrafia Award in Rome.

Cartagena will give a Spanish-language gallery talk on Friday, March 27 at 12 p.m., and the museum will host an English-language conversation on Saturday, March 28 at 1 p.m. with Cartagena and associate curator Heather Shannon.

Alejandro Cartagena: Photo Structure / Foto Estructura will be on view at the George Eastman Museum from January 31 through June 28, 2020. The exhibition will be on view at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Virginia, from August 7 through January 3, 2021.

About the Chrysler Museum of Art

The Chrysler Museum of Art is one of America’s most distinguished mid-sized art museums, with a nationally recognized collection of more than 30,000 objects, including one of the great glass collections in America. The core of the Chrysler’s collection comes from Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., an avid art collector who donated thousands of objects from his private collection to the Museum. The Museum, expanded in 2014 to add additional gallery spaces and amenities for visitors, now has growing collections in many areas and mounts an ambitious schedule of visiting exhibitions and educational programs each season. The Chrysler has also been recognized nationally for its unique commitment to hospitality with its innovative gallery host program.


The Perry Glass Studio is a state-of-the-art facility on the Museum’s campus. The studio offers programming for aspiring and master artists alike in a variety of processes including glassblowing, fusing, flameworking, coldworking and neon. The studio has also cultivated a reputation for its cutting-edge performance evenings, and was the host venue of the 2017 Glass Arts Society Conference. In addition, the Chrysler Museum of Art administers two historic houses in downtown Norfolk: the Moses Myers House and the Willoughby-Baylor House, as well as the Jean Outland Chrysler Library. General admission is free at all venues. For more information on the Chrysler Museum of Art, visit


About the George Eastman Museum

Founded in 1947, the George Eastman Museum is the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States, located on the historic Rochester estate of entrepreneur and philanthropist George Eastman, the pioneer of popular photography. Its holdings comprise more than 400,000 photographs, 28,000 motion picture films, the world’s preeminent collection of photographic and cinematographic technology, one of the leading libraries of books related to photography and cinema, and extensive holdings of documents and other objects related to George Eastman. As a research and teaching institution, the Eastman Museum has an active publishing program and, through its two joint master’s degree programs with the University of Rochester, makes critical contributions to the fields of film preservation and of photographic preservation and collection management. For more information, visit


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Photo: StudioSession-901.jpgAlejandro Cartagena (Mexican, b. Dominican Republic, b. 1977). Detail from Family Vacation (after Roma)/ Vacaciones familiares (después Roma), 2019. Altered gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the artist. © Alejandro Cartagena

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