Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Exhibition to Open at the High Museum of Art on Valentine's Day
High acquires new photographs and announces lineup of special events tied to exhibition.
ATLANTA, Jan. 24, 2013 ― Atlanta’s High Museum of Art is the sole U.S. venue for “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting,” a major exhibition of work by Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera on view Feb. 14 through May 12, 2013.
The exhibition – which includes new museum acquisitions, custom-designed reading rooms, bilingual displays and several related special events – features some of the best examples of Kahlo and Rivera’s art with more than 120 works, including iconic paintings from and photographs of both artists. The exhibition kicks off with the special opening event “Party with Passion!” on Valentine’s Day.
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). The myths that surrounded them in their lifetimes arose not only from their significant bodies of work, but also from their active participation in the historical happenings of their time. Their work 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.
“Frida & Diego” marks the first time important works by these two influential Mexican artists will be shown in the Southeast U.S. “Frida & Diego” is also the first completely bilingual exhibition to be presented by the High, with Spanish and English versions of wall labels and audio tours, as well as bilingual tour guides on Sundays throughout the show. A full-color catalog accompanies the exhibition.
CONTEMPORARY MEXICAN DESIGN; NEW ACQUISITIONS
The exhibition pairs together works by Kahlo and Rivera chronologically and according to themes, including maternity, Mexican identity and portraiture. While the exhibition positions the artists’ work in the political and artistic contexts of their time, “Frida & Diego” also examines the ways their work continues to influence Mexican artists, with two Frida- and Diego-inspired reading rooms designed by award-winning contemporary Mexican designers: Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. One reading room design features a bold red version of Frida’s iconic bed, while the other features a whimsical yellow installation inspired by the game of musical chairs.
In addition to these two contemporary reading room installations, which celebrate the continued influence of Kahlo and Rivera, the High also acquired two photographs of the artists to allow a trace of the show to remain with the museum’s permanent collection. One of the acquisitions, Martin Munkacsi’s “Diego and Frida,” is an intimate and tightly cropped portrait of the couple. Munkacsi’s photograph will be the first image visitors see as they enter the exhibition. A modern version of the second acquisition, “Frida Looking into Mirror (The Two Fridas),” by Lola Alvarez Bravo also appears in the exhibition.
“The exhibition ‘Frida & Diego’ is the most comprehensive exhibition of their work to date, enabling visitors to explore and celebrate the richness of Latin American culture and art,” said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green Director of the High Museum of Art.
The High celebrates the passion of “Frida & Diego” at the opening night “Party with Passion!” on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) from 6 to 10 p.m. The event features live Mexican music, salsa dancing, a couples’ photo booth and a Frida impersonator. Tickets are $25 per person, $40 per couple or $10 for members. For tickets visit High.org or call 404-733-5000.
Six special lectures are planned for “Frida & Diego” including “Viva la Vida: The Art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera” on Feb. 23; “Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Between Tradition and the Avant-Garde” on March 14; “Dialogos: Contemporary Mexican Design” on March 21; “Collecting Latin American Art Now” on March 28; and “Inside the Studio of Diego Rivera” on April 18. Tickets are free, but advance registration is required. Visit the High.org calendar page or call 404-733-5000 to register.
The High’s teen-oriented ArTLab series features “Frida & Diego” sessions including “Paint & Needle” on Feb. 16; “Corset Casts” on Feb. 23; “Diego Mural” on March 2; “Fashions of Frida” April 9-12; and “DJ School” April 9-12. Visit the High’s Teen Programs Page for registration prices and details.
The High’s popular Friday Jazz series continues on three dates during “Frida & Diego” including Ike Stubblefield on Feb. 15 and Joe Gransden on March 15 (performer for April 19 to be announced).
“EXTRAORDINARY VISIONS” FILM SERIES
In conjunction with “Frida & Diego” the High will present several films with connections to the artists and/or Mexico through the series “Extraordinary Cinematic Visions: Mexico Past and Present through the Eyes of Gabriel Figueroa and Carlos Reygadas.” The films and screening dates are:
- “Un retrato de Diego” (“A Portrait of Diego: The Revolutionary Gaze”), Feb. 23 at 8 p.m.
- “Los olvidados” (“The Forgotten Ones, or The Young and the Damned”), March 2 at 8 p.m.
- “El ángel exterinador” (“The Exterminating Angel”), March 9 at 8 p.m.
- “María Candelaria”, March 16 at 8 p.m.
- “Enamorada”, March 23 at 8 p.m.
- “Stellet licht” (“Silent Light”), April 6 at 8 p.m.
- “Japón” (“Japan”), April 13 at 8 p.m.
- “Revolución” (“Revolution”), April 20 at 8 p.m.
- “Post Tenebras Lux” including Q&A with director Carlos Reygadas, April 27 at 8 p.m.
The museum also presents “¡Qué viva México!” (1931) at noon and “Frida” (2002, winner of two Academy Awards) at 2 p.m. every Saturday Feb. 16 to May 11 (admission included with “Frida & Diego” ticket). Visit the film page at High.org for tickets and additional details.
ADDITIONAL EXHIBTION DETAILS
“Most scholarship about Frida and Diego focuses on their tumultuous relationship as a couple rather than their shared ideas and ideals,” said Elliott King, guest curator of the exhibition. “The exhibition ‘Frida & Diego’ instead focuses on how the artists influenced each other while learning from and sharing in each other’s successes and failures. The exhibition considers both artists in a shared cultural and political context.”
Key works by Kahlo in the exhibition include:
- The Bus, 1929
- Hospital Henry Ford (Henry Ford Hospital), 1932
- My Dress Hangs Here, 1933
- My Nurse and I, 1937
- Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair, 1940
- Autorretrato con Monos (Self-Portrait with Monkeys), 1943
- Diego on my Mind, 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
Key works by Rivera in the exhibition include:
- El Joven de la Estilografica (Portrait of Best Maugard), 1914
- No. 9, Nature Morte Espagnole, 1915
- Flower Day, 1925
- Autorretrato (Self-Portrait), 1930
- La Canoa Enflorada (The Flowered Canoe), 1931
- Flower Festival: Feast of Santa Anita, 1931
- Vendedora de Alcatraces (Calla Lily Vendor), 1943
- Portrait of Natasha Gelman, 1943
“Frida and Diego” is the result of collaboration between the High and the Art Gallery of Ontario with works primarily drawn from the collection of Mexico’s Museo Dolores Olmedo, the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art, and the Galería Arvil.
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.” 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
This exhibition 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.
The exhibition is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Wells Fargo and Lead Sponsors Forward Arts Foundation and The Sara Giles Moore Foundation. Additional support provided by AT&T, the Televisa Foundation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, the Embassy of Mexico in the United States, the Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment, and the Friends of Frida & Diego. Spanish language programming is made possible by the MetLife Foundation. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.
Art Gallery of Ontario
With a collection of more than 80,000 works of art, the Art Gallery of Ontario is among the most distinguished art museums in North America. From the vast body of Group of Seven and signature Canadian works to the African art gallery, from the cutting-edge contemporary art to Peter Paul Rubens’ masterpiece The Massacre of The Innocents, the AGO offers an incredible art experience with each visit. In 2002 Kenneth Thomson’s generous gift of 2,000 remarkable works of Canadian and European art inspired Transformation AGO. An innovative architectural expansion by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry in 2008 resulted in one of the most critically acclaimed architectural achievements in North America. For more information visit ago.net.
High Museum of Art
Founded in 1905 as the Atlanta Art Association, the High is the leading art museum in the southeastern U.S. With more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High Museum of Art has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American and decorative art; significant holdings of European paintings; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. The High’s media arts department produces acclaimed annual film series and festivals of foreign, independent and classic cinema. In November 2005 the High opened three new buildings by architect Renzo Piano that more than doubled the Museum’s size, creating a vibrant “village for the arts” at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown Atlanta. For more information about the High visit www.High.org.
The Woodruff Arts Center
The Woodruff Arts Center is ranked among the top four arts centers in the nation. The Woodruff is unique in that it combines four visual and performing arts divisions on one campus as one not-for-profit organization. Opened in 1968, the Woodruff Arts Center is home to the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the High Museum of Art and Young Audiences. To learn more about the Woodruff Arts Center visit www.woodruffcenter.org.
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