Tina Modotti

Artist and Activist

Tina Modotti is an iconic figure in the world of photography, known for her unique blend of artistry and activism. The exhibition Artist and Activist displays revolutionary photos made by Modotti in the short span of time that she dedicated to photography, ranging from politically charged photos to touching portraits of her contemporaries.

Canana, sickle and guitar, 1927, photo by Tina Modotti / Colección y Archivo de Fundación Televisa, Ciudad de México.
Untitled, (Indians carrying loads of corn husks for the making of “tamales’) 1926-1929, photo by Tina Modotti / San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Donations from Art Supporting Foundation, John ≪ Launny ≫ Steffens, Sandra Lloyd, Shawn and Brook Byers, Mr. and Mrs. George F. Jewett, Jr., and anonymous donors.
Men reading “El Machete.”, c. 1927, photo by Tina Modotti / Colección y Archivo de Fundación Televisa, Ciudad de México.

About the exhibition

The exhibition Tina Modotti - Artist and Activist is the third in a series where Foam provides a platform for untold stories by unseen icons. Her portraits of iconic figures and artists like Diego Rivera or her partner Edward Weston provide a unique window into their world, while her depictions of Mexican peasants and labourers reflect her unwavering commitment to social causes. With her camera, Modotti captured the sights and people of Mexico, focusing on women, folklore and religious art. Her raw photographic work firmly positions her as a central figure in Modernist photography.

The exhibition brings together nearly 250 vintage prints on loan from 12 important international institutions and various private lenders and collections, including illustrated magazines and original works by photographers from Modotti’s close circle, such as Edward Weston.

Man with log, 1928, photo by Tina Modotti / Colección y Archivo de Fundación Televisa, Ciudad de México.

About Tina Modotti

Although Tina Modotti was one of the most iconic photographers of her time, she is often overlooked having moved around the same artistic circles as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Her connection to revolutionary ideals pushes her to the forefront of social change. After settling in Moscow and joining the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, she gave up photography altogether in 1931 to devote herself to politics. Modotti passed away in 1942 at the age of 45. For decades after her life, her talent was overshadowed by mysteries and the absence of biographical information.

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Tina Modotti in costume, 1920-1921, photo by Victoria Studio / Courtesy Throckmorton Fine Art, New York.

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Enjoy special benefits such as free admission to the museum with a plus one on every visit, access to exclusive member activities and receive member discounts.

This exhibition is organized by Fundación MAPFRE in collaboration with Foam. Afterwards, it will travel to Jeu de Paume in Paris where the exhibition can be visited from 13 February until June 11th 2024.

This exhibition is made possible by the generous support of the Blockbusterfonds.

Woman of Tehuantepec 1929 Tina Modotti

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Tina Modotti

Artist and Activist