An exhibition in Aosta dedicated to Tina Modotti and her importance to Mexico.

From Nov. 12, 2022 to March 12, 2023, the Saint Bénin Center in Aosta is dedicating an exhibition to Tina Modotti analyzing the contribution the great photographer of Friulian descent made to the development of photography in Mexico.

From November 12, 2022 to March 12, 2023, the Saint Bénin Center in Aosta will host an exhibition dedicated to Tina Modotti (Udine, 1896 - Mexico City, 1942), one of the most important photographers of the early 20th century. Entitled Tina Modotti: The Genesis of a Modern Look, the exhibition is sponsored by the Cultural Heritage Department of the Autonomous Region of Valle d’Aosta, and is curated by Dominique Lora, in collaboration with Daria Jorioz, manager of the Structure of Exhibition Activities and Cultural Identity Promotion of Valle d’Aosta.

Through more than 100 original shots of the photographer from the collection of the National Institute of Anthropology and History and the National Photo Library of Mexico City, the exhibition aims to analyze the contribution Modotti made in the development of photography in Mexico. Adventurous, nomadic and at times mysterious, Tina Modotti’s life was galvanized by turbulent passions that influenced her existence and her strong and sensitive creativity, giving rise to her sophisticated talent and pioneering photographic technique. A modern woman and visionary artist, during the first half of the last century Modotti was an integral part of the artistic and poetic experiments that characterized the early twentieth-century avant-garde. Although in recent years her work has attracted the attention of writers, filmmakers, artists and curators, the theme and subject matter of most exhibitions, in-depth studies and various publications devoted to her have generally focused on her romantic adventures or her relationships with other famous personalities of the political or artistic scene of the first half of the twentieth century, including Julio Antonio Mella, Edward Weston, Frida Kahlo or Diego Rivera. Thus the question of her tangible, decisive and lasting influence on the development of photographic art in Mexico and abroad remains neglected in international public opinion today.

Modotti’s recognized talent lies in observing and immortalizing the conditions and emotions of the working classes and the socialist revolution, chronicling men, women and territories. But above all she traces and develops a new artistic sensibility, based on modern photographic technique, generally reserved for a purely male universe. Along with Imogene Cunnigham, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Margaret Bourke White, Frida Kahlo and Giorgia O’Keefe, to name a few, Modotti stands out as a passionate and independent woman, an avant-garde artist, courageous and exemplary for her time and the generations to come.

Tina Modotti’s original work (reevaluated only since the 1970s) is mainly found in the United States, where for too many years it remained forgotten in the archives of various institutions scattered around the country, mainly as a result of censorship imposed by the McCarthyist movement. Today, although the artist’s talent has been internationally recognized, his daring biography continues to influence, if not obscure, the perception of his extraordinary work, creating a filter for a purely artistic understanding. And while his complex human adventure continues to inspire novels, comic books, documentaries and exhibitions based on the myth, or at least the novel that was his existence, few so far have focused on his experiments and artistic legacy that demonstrate the fundamental influence his photographs have (and continue to) exert on the formation of several generations of photographers, especially women, in Mexico and around the world.

In fact, her freedom to represent reality, which distances herself from the abstract universe of other masters of her contemporaries such as Weston, Stieglitz, Adams or Steichen, led her toward an instinctive and original form of humanity and understanding towards the world around her and which, in front of her lens, revealed itself in its essence, free of metaphors even when representing a simple flower.

The exhibition opens Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 6 p.m., closed Mondays. Tickets: full price 6 euros, reduced 4 euros. Free for everyone under 25. For information phone 0165.275937, email

Image: Tina Modotti, Campesinos leyendo el Machete, Ciudad de México, Distrito Federal, Mexico, circa 1929, inv 35319

An exhibition in Aosta dedicated to Tina Modotti and her importance to Mexico.
An exhibition in Aosta dedicated to Tina Modotti and her importance to Mexico.

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