Tina Modotti - Passion & Humanity: The Susie Tompkins Buell Collection New York Thursday, April 4, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    From the photographer to Vittorio Vidali
    By descent to his son Carlos Vidali
    Sotheby’s, New York, 17 April 1991, lot 211
    Page Imageworks, San Francisco, as agent

  • Exhibited

    Tina Modotti: Photographs, Philadelphia Museum of Art, 16 September - 26 November 1995, and traveling to The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through 1996
    Tina Modotti & Edward Weston: The Mexico Years, Barbican Centre, London, 29 April - 1 August 2004
    Mexico as Muse: Tina Modotti and Edward Weston, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2 September 2006 - 2 January 2007
    Collected, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco, 2 May 2016 - 31 January 2017

  • Literature

    Lowe, Tina Modotti: Photographs, pl. 66 (this print)
    Lowe, Tina Modotti & Edward Weston: The Mexico Years, pl. 58 (this print)
    Pier 24 Photography, Collected, p. 112 (this print)
    Mexican Folkways, August-September 1926
    Schultz, et al., Tina Modotti: Photographien & Dokumente, p. 94
    Hooks, Tina Modotti: Photographer and Revolutionary, p. 122
    Hooks, Tina Modotti, pl. 15
    Agostinis, Tina Modotti: Gli Anni Luminosi, p. 107
    Albers, Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti, n.p.
    Robert Miller and Spencer Throckmorton, Tina Modotti, Photographs, pl. 19
    Aperture Masters of Photography: Tina Modotti, p. 63
    Throckmorton Fine Art, Tina Modotti and Edward Weston: Mexican Years, pl. 29

  • Catalogue Essay

    Tina Modotti’s involvement in the political conflicts of her adopted country was far stronger than that of Edward Weston, her lover and photographic mentor. While Weston’s fascination with Mexican culture was evident in his finely conceived studies of handcrafts and architecture, his chief interests were always in the formal concerns of photography. In contrast, Modotti had an abiding concern for the struggles of the Mexican working class, and many of her most powerful photographs reflect this. Nowhere do her formal and social concerns coalesce so successfully as in Campesinos, in which marching workers in a May Day parade are united with a composition of solidarity and strength.

    The present print is only the second early example of this image to be offered at auction. It comes originally from the collection of Vittorio Vidali (1900-1983), Modotti’s friend and companion in the last years of her life. Upon her death in 1942, Vidali inherited the negatives and photographs that had remained in her possession. This print (as well as the print of Roses, Mexico, offered as lot 33), bears his stamp, which dates to the time of the Spanish Civil War.



Platinum or palladium print.
8 3/8 x 7 3/8 in. (21.3 x 18.7 cm)
Vittorio Vidali’s ‘Commander of the Fifth Regiment’ stamp, reduction and other annotations in unidentified hands in pencil on the verso.

$150,000 - 250,000 

Sold for $125,000

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Passion & Humanity: The Susie Tompkins Buell Collection

New York Auction 4 April 2019