Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
Irish Museum of Modern Art
6 April – 26 June 2011
Masterpieces of the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, presents the iconic paintings of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, the two central figures of Mexican Modernism. 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 lifetime arose not only from their significant body of work, but also from their active participation in the life of their time, their friendships (and conflicts) with leading figures, their imposing physical appearance and spirited natures.
The paintings exhibited include key images by Kahlo such as Self Portrait with Monkeys, and Self Portrait as a Tehuana or Diego in My Thoughts, and the major work by Rivera, Calla Lily Vendors (all 1943). The paintings are supplemented by other works including diaries, lithographs, drawings, pastels and collages – all offering a rich visual experience for the visitor. Also included are striking photographs of Kahlo and Rivera by Lucienne Bloch, Héctor García, Martin Munkacsi, Nickolas Muray and Bernard Silberstein.
The exhibition is further extended by the inclusion of photographs by Frida Kahlo’s father Guillermo Kahlo, of churches and cloisters around Mexico City and Tepotzlan, alongside views from the Palace in Chapultepec Park. Also included is Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura’s conceptual film Dialogue with Myself (Encounter), 2001, which pays homage to Frida Kahlo and is part of a series of works entitled An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo, in which Morimura talks the role of Kahlo to reveal her world.
The Gelman Collection is a significant collection of more than 300 works of Modern and Contemporary Mexican Art which is housed in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and was established by Jacques and Natasha Gelman in 1943 to support Mexican artists. Not only does the Collection include works by Kahlo and Rivera, it holds major works by David Alfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, Leonora Carrington, Rufino Tamayo and Francisco Toledo, among others.
The exhibition has already been shown at the Pera Museum, Istanbul, and it will travel to the Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, England, where it can be seen from 9 July to 11 October 2011. An exhibition guide accompanies the show.
The exhibition is curated by Seán Kissane, Head of Exhibitions.