Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life

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9780747516224: Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life
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A passionate nature, a sensitive perception, and a fiery commitment to social causes - these are the elements of Tina Modotti's life and her photographs, presented in this comprehensive illustrated biography. Now widely recognised as one of the early 20th-century's most extraordinary photographers, Tina Modotti was remembered until recently more as the lover and muse of Edward Weston than for her own work. Born in Italy in 1896, Tina Modotti immigrated with her family to America at the age of 17. As an artist's model she came to know the great photographer Edward Weston and became the subject for many of his photographic studies. She was also his lover and student, and when they moved to Mexico to live together, Modotti soon earned a reputation for her own highly personal and direct images. Drawn into a world where art and revolutionary politics were one, Modotti's work as a photographer was eventually superseded by a total involvement with the social and political issues of her time, which led her to Germany, the Soviet Union, Spain, and, at the end of her life, back to Mexico. From her early days in Hollywood as a silent film actress, through the creative years in Mexico with Weston and her political exile in 1930s Europe, to her sudden death in 1942, Modotti's courage, clear vision, and dramatic flair made her one of the most internationally controversial and widely admired artistic figures of her day. Her radical politics motivated her life and her art, and her photographs, for all their exquisite composition and craftsmanship, reveal a humanity and a tragic sense of life.

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Mildred Constantine has had a distinguished career as an author, educator, and associate curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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