The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University will present “Guerrero & Wright: Architecture Stories” from March 9-April 20. This exhibition of photographs from the estate of Pedro E. Guerrero, a longtime resident of New Canaan, explores the collaboration between the Mexican-American photographer and famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. “Guerrero & Wright: Architecture Stories” also celebrates the centennial of Guerrero’s birth in 1917.
An opening reception will be held on March 23 from 4-6 p.m. Prior to the reception, there will be a screening of the American Masters documentary “Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey” in the Concert Hall of the Fine Arts Instructional Center from 3-4 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public.
In 1939, 22-year-old Guerrero traveled the short distance from his hometown of Mesa, AZ, to Taliesin West, Wright’s newly-established winter home and school in Scottsdale. Upon meeting the well-known architect, he introduced himself by saying simply, “My name is Pedro E. Guerrero and I’m a photographer.” Despite Guerrero’s youth and inexperience, Wright hired him on the spot to document Taliesin’s construction. Wright soon recognized Guerrero’s talent, as well as the young photographer’s ability to translate his architectural forms to film. As Guerrero would later explain, Wright appreciated his ability to visit a building and “come back with a story of [Wright’s] architecture.”
Guerrero worked as Wright’s chief photographer until the architect’s death in 1959. He continued to photograph both Taliesin West and the original Taliesin in Spring Green, WI, creating an intimate visual record of Wright and his apprentices at work. The final decades of Wright’s career were also his most prolific. During this creative resurgence, Wright sent Guerrero across the country to photograph many of his most notable public and private commissions. Published in architectural journals and mass-market magazines alike, Guerrero’s photographic “architecture stories” shaped the public perception of the architect and his work.
Guerrero is the author of “Picturing Wright, An Album from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Photographer” (1993) and “Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer’s Journey” (2007), among others. His work has been widely exhibited in both the United States and Europe. Forthcoming exhibitions include solo shows at The Mexican Museum (San Francisco, CA), and Taliesin (Spring Green, WI). Guerrero’s photographs will also be featured in the catalogue for the upcoming exhibition “Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive” at the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY).