The High Museum of Art in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario is organizing a major exhibition of work by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, the two central figures of Mexican modernism. “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting” will feature some of the best examples of Kahlo and Rivera’s art, with more than 75 works primarily drawn from the collection of Mexico’s Dolores Olmedo as well as the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art. The High Museum of Art will be the only U.S. venue for this exhibition, which opens in Atlanta on February 16, 2013 and remains on view through May 12, 2013. “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting”will be accompanied by a full-color catalogue.
“Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting” marks the first time important work by two influential Mexican artists will be shown in the Southeast.” said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., Director of the High Museum of Art. “By working with Art Gallery of Ontario, the High Museum of Art continues its commitment to collaborative partnerships that bring great works of art from around the world to Atlanta.”
“I am delighted join forces on this project with the High, a museum for which I have the utmost respect,” says Matthew Teitelbaum, Michael and Sonja Koerner Director, and CEO of the Art Gallery of Ontario. “Collaborations like these strengthen the international community of art institutions and allow us all to continue bringing the world’s most renowned art to our visitors and members.”
Few artists have captured the public’s imagination with the force of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) and her husband, the Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera (1886–1957). “Frida & Diego” positions their work within the political and artistic contexts of their time. The myths that surrounded them during their lifetime arose not only from their significant body of work, but also from their active participation in the historical happenings around them. Their art speaks of a fierce loyalty to and pride in Mexico, the ideals of the 1910 Mexican Revolution and their commitment to the conditions of the common man.
Key paintings by Frida Kahlo featured in the exhibition include:
• Autorretrato con Monos (Self-Portrait with Monkeys), 1943
• La Columna Rota (The Broken Column), 1944
• El Abrazo de Amor de el Universo, La Tierra (México), Diego, yo y el Señor Xólotl (The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Diego, Me and Señor Xólotl), 1949
• Hospital Henry Ford (Henry Ford Hospital), 1932
Key works by Diego Rivera featured in the exhibition include:
• Autorretrato (Self-Portrait), 1930
• La Canoa Enflorada (The Flowered Canoe), 1931
• Vendedora de Alcatraces (Calla Lily Vendor), 1943
• El Joven de la Estilografica (Portrait of Best Maugard), 1914
The Museo Dolores Olmedo houses the world’s largest collection of works by Kahlo. The museum’s collection also features numerous works by Rivera that helped establish the Mexican school of painting, as well as his portraits, both of which are represented in “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting.” The exhibition also features works from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art, which comprises the largest private holding of 20th-century Mexican art, spanning works from the 1910s to the 1990s. Friends of Rivera and Kahlo, the Gelmans amassed a significant number of their works, including Kahlo’s inventive self-portraits and Rivera’s portrait of Natasha Gelman from 1943.
Exhibition Organization and Support
“Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting”is co-organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta; and the Museo Dolores Olmedo, Mexico City, in association with The Vergel Foundation, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art and Galería Arvil.
Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto, Canada)
With a permanent collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. In 2008, complete with a stunning new design by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, the AGO opened its doors to the public amid international acclaim. Architectural highlights include Galleria Italia, a gleaming showcase made of wood and glass running the length of an entire city block along the Gallery’s façade, and the feature staircase, which spirals up through the roof of Walker Court and into the new contemporary galleries above it. From the extensive Group of Seven collection to the dramatic African art gallery, from the cutting-edge works in the contemporary tower to Peter Paul Rubens’s masterpiece “The Massacre of The Innocents”—a highlight of the celebrated Thomson Collection—there is truly something for everyone at the Art Gallery of Ontario.