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Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism The Gelman Collection

February 13, 2020 to May 18, 2020
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Among art history’s mythic couples, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera reign supreme and continue to leave their mark on human imagination with their extraordinary destiny, more than 50 years after their death. The Mexican artists are recognized the world over both for their history of passion and their outstanding contribution to modern art.

The exhibition, designed and organized by MondoMostre, in collaboration with the Vergel Foundation and a contribution from Throckmorton Fine Art, comprises not only works by the artistic duo but also paintings by other modern Mexican artists and numerous photographs that situate the latter in the period during which they lived.

The masterpieces presented include 20 works by Frida Kahlo, including 10 paintings and 10 works on paper, among them the famous Self-Portrait with Necklace (1933), Self-Portrait with Braid (1941) and Diego On My Mind (1943), and Rivera’s celebrated Arum Vendor (1943).

This fascinating exhibition will assemble more than 150 items, including 20 paintings by other Mexican painters such as David Alfaro Siqueiros, Carlos Orozco Romero and María Izquierdo, and 85 photographs produced by several photographers of the period, including a superb selection of works by Manuel and Lola Álvarez Bravo, a couple who rank among the foremost Latin American photographers of the 20th century.

The MNBAQ is proud to be part of the prestigious network of institutions presenting the exhibition, which has enjoyed enormous success everywhere, in particular in Bologna, Italy, Istanbul, Turkey, Sydney, Australia, and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in recent years.

The remarkable destinies of Kahlo and Rivera

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) was seriously injured in her youth in a bus accident and learned to paint during her convalescence. A feminist, socialist and fundamentally a nonconformist, the artist, who only produced 143 paintings during her entire career, was also keenly interested in popular and aboriginal culture. Kahlo often made her own life the subject of her paintings and produced self-portraits of great emotional intensity that reflect her physical and psychological suffering.

Diego Rivera (1886-1957) lived in Europe from 1907 to 1921, where he developed a style inspired by the avant-gardists. He returned to Mexico in 1921 after the revolution and sought to create paintings that spoke to the masses. He is regarded as a major figure of Mexican muralism. He received numerous official commissions and created art that is at once original and universal combining modernist influences with Mexican cultural heritage.

Frida Kahlo married Diego Rivera in 1929. A tumultuous, passionate relationship ensued that lasted a quarter of a century. The MNBAQ is delighted to highlight this relationship.