About this Item
Quantity Available: 1
Title: Tina Modotti Photographs
Publisher: Harry N Abrams, U.S.A.
Publication Date: 1995
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition
About this title
This is the first serious art-historical study of the photographic achievement of Tina Modotti (1896-1942). Modotti's photographic career spanned a brief but intense seven years (1923-30) when she lived in Mexico and became committed to revolutionary Communism. The beautifully reproduced duotone images in this book include portraits, still lifes (among them, Modotti's memorable "revolutionary icons" incorporating an ear of dried corn, a bandolier, a sickle, and a guitar), Mexican workers, folk art, street photographs, architectural studies, and flowers and plants. They have been selected to represent the full range of Modotti's esthetic imagination, and nearly half have rarely or never been reproduced before.
In an informative biographical and critical essay based on exhaustive research, Sarah M. Lowe, curator, art historian, author of a book about Frida Kahlo, and contributor to Abrams' The Diary of Frida Kahlo, explores the forces that shaped Modotti's early family influences in Italy; her formative experiences in the bohemian communities of San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 1910s; the relationship with legendary American photographer Edward Weston that provided her with her first photographic training; and the artistic and political circles she entered in Mexico. Lowe casts new light on Modotti's Mexican years, describing her relationships with a constellation of powerful artists, critics, activists, and journalists.
Tina Modotti: Photographs is the catalogue of the first comprehensive exhibition of Modotti's work, organized on the occasion of the centennial of her birth by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and traveling to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Apprentice to and lover of photographer Edward Weston in Mexico during the 1920s, Italian-born activist Modotti developed at that time a not widely known but consequential body of camera work of her own: portrait, still-life, architectural and documentary photos, the latter applied in large part to further the cause of world communism. Here, in a monumental feat of biographical research and picture assemblage for a current exhibition, art historian Lowe apparently tells all that can be known about this revolutionary artist?her friendships with populist painters Orozco, Rivera, Siqueiros et al.; her succession of lovers, one of whom was assassinated; her own imprisonment and deportation; her work for the Soviet International Red Aid in Berlin, Moscow and combat zones of the Spanish Civil War. As seen here, taken as a whole, Modotti's oeuvre seems to mock in equal measure Weston's dictum of art for art's sake and the conventional view that propaganda cannot be art. Her pictures of campesinos at work and on parade are as arresting as her twin lilies seen plain.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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