Tina Modotti
Untitled (Cathedral)

The Italian photographer Tina Modotti is known for her documentation of the mural movement in Mexico. She had a keen eye for architectural composition, and captured eloquent details using a delicate platinum print process. In 1929 she was deported from Mexico because of her involvement in the Communist party and went to Europe. Soon thereafter her work began to blend her eye for space and shape with a more critical social angle, often engaging in an overtly anti-Fascist discourses. Untitled (Cathedral) (ca. 1930), taken after her arrival in Europe, is an excellent example of her skillfully composed architectural pictures. It evokes ideas about how the composition of public spaces can influence both politics and cultural life.

Tina Modotti was an Italian film actress and photographer. As a photographer, she collaborated with Edward Weston and extensively documented the Mexican mural movement. In addition to her photography of Diego Rivera’s murals, she is also depicted in five of them. Modotti was involved in both the artistic and political avant-gardes of Mexico City, befriending members of and eventually joining the Mexican Communist party. Political repression forced her to move back to Europe, and she eventually lived in Moscow before moving to Spain when the Civil war began in 1936. In 1939, she returned to Mexico, where she died in 1942.