5 Paintings by Latin American Masters at the San Francisco MoMA

close up of Zapatistas by Alfaro Ramos Martinez

close up of Zapatistas by Alfaro Ramos Martinez

In addition to an array of works by European and American artists such as Henri Mattise, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has a number of works by Latin American masters in their permanent collection. These artists include: Roberto Matta, Frida Kahlo, Wilfredo Lam, Alfaro Ramos Martinez and Diego Rivera. Below are five of the most important paintings by these artists that are part of the museum’s permanent collection.


Roberto Matta - Invasion of the Night (1942)

Roberto Matta - Invasion of the Night (1942), courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

Roberto Matta - Invasion of the Night (1942), courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

This 1943 oil painting by Chilean artist - Roberto Matta was acquired by the San Francisco MoMA in 1982. The piece is one of two by the artist in the museum’s permanent collection and is an excellent example of Matta’s incredible sense of color, composition, and innovative spirit.


Wilfredo Lam - Un Coq pour Chango (1947)

Un Coq pour Chango by Wilfredo Lam, courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

Un Coq pour Chango by Wilfredo Lam, courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

Un Coq pour Chango (A Rooster for Shango) was previously titled L’Oracle Et L’oiseau Vert (The Oracle and the Green Bird). This oil on burlap painting was gifted to the museum in 1992 by Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem. The piece is part of an ongoing exhibition on the second floor titled: Painting and Sculpture Since 1900 - the exhibition features work by artists such as: Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Jackson Pollock, and Marco Rothko.


Frida Kahlo - Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931)

Frida Kahlo - Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931), courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

Frida Kahlo - Frieda and Diego Rivera (1931), courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

Frieda and Rivera is one of the most well known portraits by the artist and depicts her with her husband, Diego Rivera. The painting was executed in 1931, shortly after their marriage, and was commissioned by art patron, collector, and friend of Diego Rivera’s, Albert M. Bender. The painting currently on  display on the museum’s second floor as part of the same exhibition as the Wilfredo Lam - Painting and Sculpture Since 1900.


Diego Rivera - The Flower Carrier (1935)

The Flower Carrier by Diego Rivera, courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

The Flower Carrier by Diego Rivera, courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

The Flower Carrier is one of Rivera’s most iconic works and was executed in 1935. This oil and tempera painting is one of several dozen works by Rivera in the museum’s permanent collection, and was acquired by the museum in 1935. Diego Rivera took several trips to San Francisco during his career as an artist where he created a number of murals throughout the city.


Alfredo Ramos Martinez - Zapatistas (ca 1932) 

Zapatistas (ca 1932) by Alfredo Ramos Martinez, courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

Zapatistas (ca 1932) by Alfredo Ramos Martinez, courtesy of San Francisco MoMA

Zapatistas depicts Mexican soldiers with rifles and rounds of ammunition adorned across their bodies. The painting was gifted to the museum by Albert M. Bender, the same man who commissioned Frida Kahlo to paint Frieda and Diego. Like Rivera, Alfredo Ramos Martinez spent much of his time living and working in California, he is considered by many to be the father of Modern Mexican art and was an inspiration to many of the internationally renowned Mexican artists that came shortly after.