Viva Mexico! Edward Weston and his Contemporaries, Vida y Drama: Modern Mexican Prints
May 30 - November 2, 2009
"Viva Mexico!" draws heavily on the The Lane Collection of photographs on long-term loan at the MFA and features about 35 rare works by Edward Weston taken during the pivotal years of 1923 through 1926. The work covers a wide range of subjects: heroic portrait heads, avant-garde nudes, starkly abstract urban views and landscapes, and images of Mexican toys and folk objects. Also included is a select group of pictures by Weston's contemporaries--Modotti, Strand, Bravo, and his young son, Brett, who made some of his first serious photographs during his brief visit to Mexico with his father. The "Vida y Drama" exhibition features prints from between 1926 and 1932 by Rufino Tamayo and los tres grandes (the "big three" muralists): Diego Rivera, Jose Clemente Orozco, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. These artists set the standard for modern Mexican style. Prints published in the 1930s to the 1950s by the circle of artists associated with the Taller de Grafica Popular (the People's Graphic Workshop, founded in 1937) drew connections between Mexico's political struggles and the fight against fascism at the core of the Spanish Civil War and World War II. The exhibition also contains more intimate images, such as artists' self-portraits and female nudes. Inspired by their history and what they saw around them, these printmakers generated some of the most original art made in Mexico during the twentieth century.