Art Focus Lectures | Tina Modotti & the Mexican Renaissance
Tina Modotti’s photographs of 1920s Mexico symbolically represent the post-revolutionary period sometimes called the Mexican Renaissance. “Her work flowers perfectly in Mexico and harmonizes with our passion,” said painter Diego Rivera of Modotti’s seamless fusions of politics and art. Modotti’s work resonates with that of Rivera but also that of others in her circle like Frida Kahlo, David Alfaros Siqueiros, and Edward Weston. We will consider Modotti’s photographs in the context of the roiling and hopeful period that was 1920s Mexico. We will also survey Modotti’s life, among the most dramatic of the 20th century, which took her from Italian factory worker to Hollywood starlet to Stalinist operative to humanitarian aid worker in Spain. Most memorably, Modotti created enduring images of, with, and for the Mexican people.
Patricia Albers is the author of Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti. She also wrote Joan Mitchell, Lady Painter: A Life, the first biography of the abstract artist. Currently, she is working on a biography of the Hungarian-born photographer André Kertész. Her essays, art reviews, and features have appeared in museum catalogues and publications including the San Jose Mercury News and the New York Times. She teaches at San Francisco State University.
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