Tina Modotti at Jeu de Paume

The “Tina Modotti. L’oeil de la révolution” exhibit at Paris’ Jeu de Paume (until May 12, 2024) revisits this legendary femme extraordinaire with a large exhibition tracing her career from silent film actress and model to photographer to Communist activist. Modotti (Udine, Italy, 1896 – Mexico City, 1942) moved to Mexico with photographer Edward Weston in 1923 becoming part of the “Mexican Renaissance” and its thriving post-revolutionary culture. Joining the circle of artists and mural painters there, she quickly combined Weston’s formalism with her own personal vision. She joined the Mexican Communist Party (CPM) in 1927 and used her camera to denounce the plight of the poor, paying particular attention to conveying the experience of Mexican women.

After being expelled from Mexico as a communist in 1930, she spent several years in the Soviet Union, where her photographic militancy was transformed into political activism. When the Spanish Civil War broke out the Soviet Communist Party sent her to Spain where she worked with International Red Aid directing relief to the Republican cause. With the defeat of the Republicans, she crossed the Pyrenees with thousands of other exiles. Exhausted and disillusioned after the Spanish Civil War, she was forced to leave Europe again. She died in Mexico City in 1942.

Tina Modotti. L’oeil de la révolution,” to May 12, 2024, Jeu de Paume, Paris.