Itinerant Revolutions

The Mexican Revolution sparked a transformation of artistic forms and cultural practices. Renowned Mexican photographers and foreign art photographers who traveled to Mexico—including Lola and Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Tina Modotti, and Paul Strand—came together to challenge and transform the medium’s realist conventions. Rejecting the picturesque approach to portraying Mexico and its peoples adopted by traditional photography, they turned the medium into a site of experimentation. Their politically engaged modernist aesthetic—characterized by a strong interest in the popular classes, a taste for the surreal, and an effort to transform the photographic medium itself—persists today in the work of contemporary photographers such as Graciela Iturbide and Pablo Ortiz Monasterio.

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