The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Saturday, January 20, 2018


Desperately seeking this Frida Kahlo painting. Last seen in Poland
A black-and-white replica of the horizontal oil painting, a double self-portrait with Kahlo represented both as herself and a wounded table dripping with blood, can be seen until January 21 at "Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Polish Context".

by Anna Maria Jakubek


POZNAN (AFP).- After taking an overnight bus to Poznan in Poland for an exhibition on Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, two Portuguese sisters are now standing in front of a curious blue suggestion box.

"Who can tell us what happened to the missing painting or where we can find it?" reads a sign next to a photo of Kahlo's largest work, "The Wounded Table", a mysterious surrealist masterpiece that vanished without a trace in Warsaw more than half a century ago.

"I wrote that the painting was probably destroyed. Or it could have been stolen and sold on the black market," says 21-year-old Ines Cavaco, currently studying in the Polish city of Krakow.

"For sure. It's sitting in someone's living room," adds her sister Joana, a 23-year-old megafan who did her hair up with flowers in homage to Kahlo's trademark look.

A black-and-white replica of the horizontal oil painting, a double self-portrait with Kahlo represented both as herself and a wounded table dripping with blood, can be seen until January 21 at "Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: Polish Context".

The exhibition at the ZAMEK Culture Centre -- a castle built for Kaiser Wilhelm II and later meant to be a residence for Adolf Hitler -- spotlights the famed married couple's little-known links to Poland.

Several dozen of their works shine against a vibrant yellow wall that recalls Kahlo's bright palette and love of life, despite loneliness and pain brought on by lifelong health issues and Rivera's many affairs, including with her sister.

The exhibition also features work by two Polish-born Jewish artists close to the couple: photographer Bernice Kolko, who captured Kahlo on her deathbed, and muralist Fanny Rabel, one of Kahlo's most devoted students.

Unwanted gift
Finally, a blue room focuses on the 1955 Warsaw exhibition of Mexican art where "The Wounded Table" was last shown.

"It must be somewhere. It cannot have just disappeared. Such a big painting. Unless they burnt it in an oven in the 1950s," curator Helga Prignitz-Poda told AFP.

"That is one of the reasons why I made the exhibition. Because somebody in Poland might remember that he had seen this painting once somewhere."

At 2.4 metres long by 1.2 metres high (eight by four feet), larger than a standard door, the painting was unusual for Kahlo, who preferred to work small, unlike her muralist husband Rivera.

The artist known for her unibrow, long skirts and heavy jewellery created the painting for the 1940 International Exhibition of Surrealism in Mexico City. For a long time it hung in her dining room, before she donated it to the Soviet Union out of love for communism.

The Last Supper-like work was then sent to Warsaw for the exhibition that would travel around several socialist countries, but the painting never made it past the first stop.

Prignitz-Poda points out that while the painting is considered great today and would be worth around $20 million (17 million euros), back then its "surreal absolutely cruel depiction of the double Frida" went against the preferred socialist realist style.

"There were official statements saying that this painting is not exhibitable, that it is so terrible that they really didn't find it worth the money to pay for transport. It is possible that the (Russian) landlords didn't want it back," she said.

'Under the rug?'
For Prignitz-Poda, who just published the book "Hidden Frida Kahlo: Lost, Destroyed, or Little-Known Works", the disappearance is frustrating because only half of Kahlo's 300 works are available to see. The rest are missing, burnt or in collections that never lend.

"I'm happy that I got to see even a bit of this legend in the original. Mexico's far," said 56-year-old actor Krzysztof Najbor, who took the train up from his southern mountain town of Zakopane for the exhibition.

"After leaving a gallery, my family and I always ask ourselves what we'd walk off with. What we'd like to have at home. Well, there was this small Frida self-portrait that I really liked," he told AFP with a laugh.

The self-portrait is still there. And "The Wounded Table" is still missing, despite many contributions to the suggestion box.

"People write all kinds of funny things. That because the table's wounded, the painting must be at the hospital. Or it's at Putin's place. Or under their rug at home," ZAMEK director Anna Hryniewiecka told AFP.

"Drawings too. Children make little maps of how to find the painting. There are reviews of the exhibition. But no information that would actually point us towards some kind of clue."

But there is hope for a happy ending: a Rivera mural, "Glorious Victory", that also disappeared in the mid-1950s was discovered in the storerooms of Moscow's Pushkin Museum in 2000.


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

December 4, 2017

Desperately seeking this Frida Kahlo painting. Last seen in Poland

The Warhol announces Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls book

Pterosaur hatchlings needed their parents, trove of eggs reveals

ICA Miami opens new permanent home

New film explores the work of street artist Richard Hambleton

Schantz Galleries to show works by Bertil Vallien at the FORM Miami Exhibition

Met Opera suspends Levine after sex abuse allegations

The 2017 visitor's guide to Art Basel Miami Beach and beyond

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art opens "A New Era: Scottish Modern Art 1900-1950"

Exhibition reflects on Ai Weiwei's use of art as a social engagement tool

Exhibition at Mart, Rovereto reviews the features of Magic Realism in Italy

Marisa Takal recreates emotions, memories & places as abstract landscapes in second solo exhibit at Night Gallery

Tiancheng International Jewellery and Jadeite Autumn Auction achieves $28.39 million

Jenkins Johnson Projects opens "Homeostasis: Leonardo Benzant & Vaughn Spann"

James Cohan presents new works by Brooklyn-based artist Alison Elizabeth Taylor

Bidsquare's Holiday Gift Guide: The solution for those hard to shop for this holiday season

Freeman's explores the art of gift giving with the Holiday Sale

Heather Gaudio Fine Art opens a group exhibition

Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran opens exhibition of works by Martin Golland

Exhibition in Avignon presents works by Djamel Tatah in dialogue with works from the Collection Lambert

The third Jimei x Arles International Photo Festival opens in Xiamen

Carter Burden Gallery opens exhibitions by re-emerging New York City artists

London Art Fair 2018 announces list of exhibitors and curated projects

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- National Air and Space Museum releases "VR Hangar" app

2.- Inrap discovers a mikveh in the medieval Jewish quarter of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux

3.- Wellcome Collection acquires 17th century portrait of internationally renowned and hirsute Barbara van Beck

4.- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation names Ghislain d'Humieres to oversee its core operations

5.- LACMA exhibits for the first time two photographic series by Richard Prince

6.- Jade and gold burial suit, finest to survive ancient China, featured in Nelson-Atkins exhibition

7.- Peru recovers 79 pre-Hispanic textiles from the Museum of Gothenburg in Sweden

8.- Vincent van Gogh's 'Watermill at Kollen' on display at Het Noordbrabants Museum

9.- Saint Louis Art Museum will acquire 'Portrait of Charlotte Cram' by John Singer Sargent

10.- British Museum opens the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful