SFMOMA graces Haggin Museum


Stockton’s Haggin Museum is the final stop for San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s (SFMOMA) collection, Photography in Mexico.

Since a three-year renovation began in 2013, the museum has been sending its collection to other museums as a part of “SFMOMA On the Go.”

Meredith Lange, publicity coordinator at the Haggin, said the museum “felt this show had the ability to not only speak to Stockton’s Mexican-American community, but also opens up a dialogue about the nature of community and how cultural identity is formed within diverse regions like the central valley.”

Lange, who also teaches art history at Delta, said “this show has something for almost everyone.”

The collection of photographs covers a 90-year span that documents the nation’s journey into modernization and the struggle Mexican people had keeping their culture and identity throughout the transformation.

The journey starts in the 1920s and follows a post-revolutionary country as it evolved.

Captivated by the earlier work of Edward Weston and Tina Modotti, Mexican photographers were inspired to explore the artistic side of photography.

The influence becomes clear when viewers see the conscious use of lines and angles in the work of Manuel Alvarez Bravo and his wife, Lola Alvarez Bravo.

Lola’s work was said to have “sought to create a visual chronicle of her country and its rapid transformation, recording the disappearing ways of life in the decades following the revolution,” according to the exhibit.

Lola’s photograph, Las Lavanderas (The Washerwoman), provides evidence of this.

The photograph captures a woman washing clothes in the river from a high perspective. The isolation and long shadows in the photograph suggest a fading way of life.

The photographers began to shift the focus towards social and political subjects in the 1960s and 1970s.

Rodrigo Moya’s work reflects the pensive state of the people as they looked towards an uncertain future, wondering what it meant to be Mexican in this new world.

Enrique Metinides sequence, Suicida en la Cupula del Toreo (Suicide Rescue From the Top of the Toreo Stadium) is one of the most powerful pieces.

The sequence shows a man standing on a high beam being rescued before he can leap.

It illustrates how delicate the nation was, needing each other to survive, while revealing courage and compassion through the series.

The 1980s marked another shift for the photographers who started using their work to show the social paradoxes in contemporary life.

An example is Lourdes Grobet’s photographs of the Lucha Libre matches.

The photographs possess a satirical arrogance. They show people who have become enormously animated characters, yet hide behind a mask.

The exhibit will be on display at the Haggin Museum through June 14.

Delta Students receive $3 off at the door with valid student identification.

Hours are Saturday and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday 1:30 p.m to 5 p.m. First and third Thursday 1:30 p.m to 9 p.m.