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Westwood Gallery NYC presented the premiere U.S. exhibition of Leo Matiz photographs, including Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Fernando Botero, and surrealist photographs in 2001, with photographs not seen by the public for over 50 years.


Leo Matiz, one of the most important Colombian photographers of the 20th century, documented more than 60 years of history in photographs. His work includes photographs of rural and urban landscapes, abstract forms found in architecture and nature, in addition to portraits of well-known individuals in the fields of art and politics and narrative photographs of native Latin Americans.


A frequent traveler since his teenage years, Matiz started his career as a photographer touring Columbia as a reporter working for magazines. Then he traveled to Panama, traversed Central America on foot and went on to work in Mexico. Matiz lived in Mexico for approximately ten years from 1940 on and collaborated with numerous artists, such as Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Gabriel Figueroa on Mexican film projects and David Alfaro Siqueiros on the mural "Cuauhtemoc against the Myth". He also photographed Frida Kahlo, characterizing her strength and sensitivity in a number of images, some taken in the Blue House, others in her daily life, all capturing her mystique and power.

Photographs © 2021 Leo Matiz Foundation.

In 1948, Matiz moved to New York City and worked as a photo-journalist for Life magazine and the United Nations, documenting the intense conflict in the Middle East. During these assignments he witnessed and photographed assassinations and shootings, while experiencing his own personal pain and suffering. By the end of the 1940's, Leo Matiz was presented the award for Best Photo Journalist of Mexico and was also considered one of the ten best living photographers in the world. Later, Matiz opened the first studio/gallery in Bogotá, Colombia, which soon became an integral part of the bohemian scene for artists, writers and intellectuals. In 1951, Matiz launched the premiere exhibition of paintings by a 19 year old artist, Fernando Botero, and photographed his first paintings, strongly influenced by Pablo Picasso.

Photographs © 2021 Leo Matiz Foundation.

Matiz was honored by the French government in 1995 with a Knighthood of Arts and Letters for his extraordinary contribution to the art of photography. Leo Matiz died in 1998, leaving us thousands of images as a contribution to the historic and artistic legacy of photography. In the last decade, there have been numerous international museum and gallery exhibitions of his work and the photographs are part of museum, institutional and private collections. WESTWOOD GALLERY NYC was the first U.S. fine art gallery to exhibit the photographic history of Leo Matiz in 2001.


Photographs © 2021 Leo Matiz Foundation.


Exhibition History



2013 - La Magia de Leo Matiz viaja a los Emiratos Árabes, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2013 - Frida Rediscovered by Leo Matiz, M + V Art, Miami

2010 - Macondo visto por Leo Matiz, Centro Hispanoamericano de Cultura, Cuba

2010 - Frida y los olvidados, Galería Campagne Premiere, Berlin

2009 - El México de Leo Matiz, Mexican Institute in San Antonio, Texas

2007 - Frida Kahlo a través de Leo Matiz, Museo de Arte y Cultura de Colsubsidio, Bogotá, Colombia

2007 - El Encanto Enigmático de Leo Matiz, Instituto de México en Atlanta, Georgia

2004 - Leo Matiz, Primer Galerista de Fernando Botero, Bogotá, Colombia

2004 - El Encanto Enigmático de Leo Matiz, Museo Latino de Omaha

2003 - El Encanto Enigmático de Leo Matiz, Museo Diego Rivera, Guanajuato, México

2001 - Retrospective: Rare Photographs from the Estate, Westwood Gallery, NYC

1995 - Los personajes de Leo Matiz, Instituto Europeo de Diseño, Milan

1993 - Fotografías, Galería Con Sarc, Chiasso, Switzerland

1992 - Retrospectiva, Galería “Il Diaframma,” Milan, Italy

1992 - Retrospectiva, Provincia de Milano, Milan, Italy

1989 - Fotografías de Venezuela, Ateneo de Caracas, Salón Margot Benacerraf, Caracas, Venezuela

1988 - Homenaje 50 años de trabajo, Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia

1984 - Luz, líneas y sombras, Galería Leo Matiz, Bogotá, Colombia

1980 - Paisajes, Galería Colseguros, Bogotá, Colombia

1954 - Retrospectiva, XX Conferencia Panamericana, Caracas, Venezuela

1952 - Fotografías, Circulo de Reporteros Gráficos, Bogotá, Colombia

1944 - Watercolors and Paintings, Advertising Club of New York, NYC

1943 - Tipos y Costumbres de México, Estudio Leo Matiz, México

1942 - El Pueblo de México, Galería de Arte Decoración, México

1941 - Dibujos y Caricaturas, Casino San Salvador, El Salvador

1941 - Fotos y Dibujos, Museo de Bellas Artes, México

1940 - Dibujos, Embajada de Colombia, San José, Costa Rica

1937 - Dibujos, Teatro Variedades, Santa Maria Colombia

1933 - Caricaturas, Cafetería Excelsior, Santa Maria, Colombia



2016 - Mirror Mirror: Rare Photographs of Frida Kahlo, Bentley Gallery, Phoenix

2015 - Abstracting the Grid: Matiz + Laserna, M + V Art, Miami

2015 - The Art Design Project Collection at the Rudolf Budja Gallery, M + V Art, Miami

2010 - Frida Kahlo, Museo Gropius, Berlin

2008 - La Muerte está viva, Galería Mundo, Bogotá, Columbia

2002 - Frida & Fridomania, Organización de Estados Americans, Washington, D.C.

1996 - Latin American Photography, Miami Dade County Public Library, Miami

1994 - Fotografía latinoamericana, Instituto Latinoamericano, Rome

1994 - Frida Kahlo, Galería Carla Sozzani, Milan

1981 - 1° Salón de Photografía de Caracas, Gobernación del Distrito Federal, Caracas, Venezuela

1949 - Fotografías Tratado de Paz Medio Oriente, Organización de Naciones Unidas, Lake Success, New York

1940 - Dibujos, Embajada de Colombia, San José, Costa Rica



> Leo Matiz: Pasiones en Blanco y Negro, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> The Third Eye of Leo Matiz, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> Macondo Visto Por Leo Matiz, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> The Metaphor of the Eye, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> L'arte per l'arte. Matiz e Siqueiros cinquanta'anni dopo, Photographs by Leo Matiz Los hombres del campo. Leo Matiz, Fotografia, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> Leo Matiz, L'objectif magique / El lente mágico, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> El tercer ojo. The third eye of Leo Matiz, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> Leo Matiz, Fotografie, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> Aquí estuvo el Libertador, Photograph by Leo Matiz

> Bavaria. Story of a Great Company, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> Asi es Caracas, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> The Divine Eye, Photographs by Leo Matiz

> Leo Matiz, Photographs by Leo Matiz

Museum Collections


Museum of Modern Art, NYC

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas

Miami Public Library, Miami

Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris

Organization of American States, Washington, D.C.

Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo, México

Museo Nactional de Arte, México

Museo Mural Diego Rivera, México

Fernando Botero Collection, Monte Carlo

Museo del Santo, Padova, Italy

Museo de la Fotografía, Bérgamo, Italy

Museo Nacional de Colombia, Bogota, Colombia

Museo de Antropología, México

Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California

Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia

Galería Colseguros, Bogotá, Colombia

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