Featuring more than 150 artworks by internationally celebrated artists Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Gunther Gerzso, María Izquierdo, Carlos Mérida and others, this exhibition will take a closer look at the role art, artists, and their supporters played in the emergence of national identity and creative spirit after the Mexican Revolution ended in 1920.
Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism will explore the Mexican modernism movement through paintings and photography.
Frida and Diego
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are often credited as having played a crucial role in establishing a Mexican avant-garde. Their body of work often incorporated portrayals of mexicanidad, an identity born of Mexico’s ancient cultures and its colonial past that projected a visionary future. The exhibition will showcase 13 works by Diego, including his 1943 Calla Lilly Vendor. In addition, the exhibition will explore his famous murals that incorporated social and political messages aimed at reunifying Mexicans after the revolution.
The exhibition will include more than 20 of Frida’s paintings and drawings inspired by personal experience, Mexican folk art, and a world view that embraced contradictions, often called magical realism. Of these works, seven are self-portraits, including her 1943 painting Diego on my Mind.
Mexican Modernist Contemporaries
This exhibition also will cover the topic of important women artists during this period. For example, visitors will see María Izquierdo’s 1946 Naturaleza viva, which features a variety of still-life fruits, vegetables, and a conch shell, symbolic of Mexico’s authentic beauty and fresh goods that are abundant across the country.
The shift in Mexico’s post-war modernism movement also will be demonstrated through artworks such as Carlos Mérida’s vibrant and bold 1959 painting titled Festival of the Birds, which uses figurative, surreal, and geometric styles to depict a flock of birds.
The Gelman Collection
Most of the works on view will be from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Jacques and Natasha assembled a robust collection of Mexican modernist artworks by collecting primarily from friends, such as Frida and Diego, who completed commissioned paintings for the family.