Photography in Mexico

Selected Works from the Collections of SFMOMA and Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser
March 10–July 8, 2012

Presenting a complex synthesis of art and politics, this exhibition explores Mexico’s distinctively rich and diverse photography tradition from the 1920s to the present. It begins in the period following the Mexican Revolution, when international artists such as Tina Modotti and Edward Weston found creative inspiration in Mexico and, in turn, helped to inspire Mexican photographers like Lola Álvarez Bravo and Manuel Álvarez Bravo. Including photographs made for the illustrated press at midcentury and documentary investigations from the 1970s and 1980s, the exhibition concludes with contemporary examinations of social, environmental, and economic concerns both within Mexico and along its northern border. The selection of more than 150 photographs showcases works by Manuel Carrillo, Graciela Iturbide, Elsa Medina, Pablo Ortiz Monasterio, Mariana Yampolsky, and many more, drawing from SFMOMA’s photography collection and a recent major gift from Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser.

Photography in Mexico: Selected Works from the Collections of SFMOMA and Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser is organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Generous support is provided by Concepción and Irwin Federman. Additional support is provided by the George Frederick Jewett Foundation and the Consulate General of Mexico in San Francisco. Media support is provided by Telemundo 48, UNIVISION, and El Mensajero.

Lourdes Grobet, photo of Mexican wrestler
photograph of kids on slated pieces of wood from below
photograph of woman in Mexico with four iguanas on head
photo of patterend green yellow and brown cubic houses lined up on street
Ed Weston, photograph of pyramid structure in Mexcio

Lourdes Grobet, Ponzoa, Arena Coliseo, ca. 1983; collection SFMOMA, gift of Jane and Larry Reed; © Lourdes Grobet

Lola lvarez Bravo, Los gorrones, ca. 1955, collection of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser; 1995 Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona Foundation

Graciela Iturbide, La Nuestra Senora de las Iguanas, Juchitan, Oaxaca, Mexico (Our Lady of the Iguanas, Juchitan, Oxaca, Mexico), 1979; collection SFMOMA, gift of the artist; © Graciela Iturbide

Alejandro Cartagena, Fragmented Cities, Juarez #2, from the series Suburbia Mexicana, 2007; collection SFMOMA, Accessions Committee Fund purchase; © Alejandro Cartagena

Edward Weston, Pirmide del Sol, Teotihuacn, 1923; collection SFMOMA, gift of Brett Weston; 1981 Center for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents