The year 2007 was the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the artist Frida Kahlo. She attained cult status through an art that combined the colourful, cheerful culture of Mexico with the traumatic experiences of her own life. Although this made her the most famous female artist of the first half of the 20th century, in Germany her work was very seldom to be seen in the original. The over 120 paintings and drawings on display in the Martin-Gropius-Bau
will be the most extensive exhibition of Frida Kahlos oeuvre to date.
It will contain works never before seen and assumed to be lost. A particular highlight will be the last work of Frida Kahlo, here to be seen for the first time. There will also be approximately 70 drawings, some of them hitherto unpublished, which reveal unknown aspects of the artists personality. These will include landscapes that metamorphose into sexual fantasies and subtly humorous plays on words and images. The codes needed to decipher these conceits will be clearly explained.
Frida Kahlos artistic development from the New Objectivity (Neue Sachlichkeit), through Mexican Estridentism to Surrealism and her very own blend of Realism will be comprehensively presented. Her art will be supplemented by a collection of photographs belonging to her family and friends which offer unusual insights into her time. Responsibility for this part of the exhibition will rest with Frida Kahlos great niece, the photographer Cristina Kahlo.
The loans come from Mexican private collections, North American museums and prominent collections in the USA.