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Greater American Camera: Making Modernism in Mexico

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By Monica Bravo

An engaging investigation of how the relationships between four U.S. photographers and Mexican artists forged new developments in modernism.

Photographers Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, Paul Strand, and Helen Levitt were among the U.S. artists who traveled to Mexico during the interwar period seeking a community more receptive to the radical premises of modern art. Looking closely at the work produced by these four artists in Mexico, this book examines the vital role of exchanges between the expatriates and their Mexican contemporaries in forging a new photographic style.

Monica Bravo offers fresh insights concerning Weston’s friendship with Diego Rivera; Modotti’s images of labor, which she published alongside the writings of the Stridentists; Strand’s engagement with folk themes and the work of composer Carlos Chávez; and the influence of Manuel Álvarez Bravo on Levitt’s contributions to a New World surrealism. Exploring how these dialogues resulted in a distinct kind of modernism characterized by inter-American interests, the book reveals the ways in which cross-border collaboration shaped a new “greater American” aesthetic.

Hardcover, 256 pages, 2021.

10 x 8 in.

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