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Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0609600699, Hardcover)Tina Modotti's short, intense life (1896-1942) has sparked numerous biographies, but museum curator Patricia Albers's is the first to do true justice to Modotti's photography and to persuasively trace its roots in her personal experiences. Albers does a fine job nailing down the particulars of this remarkable woman's picaresque journey: impoverished childhood in Italy; introduction to bohemianism and radicalism in California; amorous and artistic fulfillment in Mexico; a murder that launched her into the maelstrom of Communist Party activism in Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and Spain; return to Mexico and premature death. Even more importantly, Albers conveys the essence of Modotti's haunting images, which displayed a modernist technique similar to that of her lover Edward Weston, but applied it to the respectful, loving portrayal of Mexico's common people. Contemporary readers may regret Modotti's decision to abandon photography in 1932 and her unflinching loyalty to Stalinism (including a decade-long liaison with a particularly dogmatic party functionary), but Albers makes readers understand that the same passion that fueled her art and her many love affairs underpinned her commitment to Communism. Modotti's story is not one of reasoned choices and measured steps, but a wild, romantic saga of intrigue, heartbreak, excess, and catastrophe all vividly captured in this poignant book. --Wendy Smith
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 24 Jan 2013 06:24:47 -0500)
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