Laurie Toby Edison


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SFMOMA: Photography Of Mexico

Laurie says:

I was just at SFMOMA’s Photography of Mexico exhibit.  The work ranges from the 1920’s to the present. The initial work is by visitors Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, who both photographed and taught there and were instrumental in the 20th century Mexican photography movement.  The post revolutionary period also funded work that was based in Mexican culture, so a strong Mexican photography movement developed. The majority of the photographers are Mexican. The photographers are a mix of fine art photographers, documentary photographers, revolutionary photographers and press photographers, frequently in the same career.  Women are well represented in the exhibition, a pleasant change from most historical photography exhibits.

Lourdes Grobet


The selection of more than 150 photographs showcases works by Lourdes Grobet, Manuel Carrillo, Graciela Iturbide, Elsa Medina, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Mariana Yampolsky, and many more, drawing from SFMOMA’s photography collection and a recent major gift from Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser.

The work is frequently formalist or ethnographic.  I was struck by the fact that none of it felt anthropological (something I’m very aware of after all my Women of Japan work) and was on the whole respectful.  It may have to do with the initial starting conditions.  There wasn’t a way to make three images representative, so these are just somewhat random personal choices.


Mariana Yompalsky


A group of about 20 small photographs at the beginning of the exhibition (gelatin and platinum prints), mostly by Modotti, really struck me.  They were as strong and realized as the larger images. Because my present project is small images, these were significant for me. Make sure to see them if you come to the show.


Graciela Iturbide


I’m familiar with 20th century Mexican photography, and this show is exceptional in the quality of the work and the curatorial choices. This is an excellent opportunity to see fine work and the historical flow of major photography movements, both the art and the politics.  If you’re in the Bay Area, check it out.

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