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Frida Kahlo: Portraits of an Icon at San Jose Museum of Art
Fritz Henle, Frida in her studio, c. 1943, Gelatin silver print, 11 1/8 x 9 ¾ inches.
SAN JOSE, CA.-The San Jose Museum of Art presents today Frida Kahlo: Portraits of an Icon, on view through March 22, 2009. Shedding light on the life and art of Frida Kahlo (1907 – 1954), this exhibition features approximately fifty photographic portraits of the legendary Mexican artist. Drawn from the collection of Spencer Throckmorton, a specialist in Latin American photography, the exhibition includes works by several of the most renowned photographers of the twentieth century: Manuel Alvarez Bravo and Nickolas Muray.

These preeminent photographers produced remarkable portraits of refined artistry and technique that exceed the boundaries documentary photography. Nonetheless, some of the most revealing photographs in the exhibition were taken by her close friends and family, such as Guillermo Kahlo and Lucienne Bloch, who were also accomplished photographers. Overall, these portraits chronicle Kahlo from the onset of her artistic career until her death and portray her various roles as painter, patient, wife, daughter, lover, and friend. Many of the photographs offer an intimate glimpse of private moments in her bedroom, hospital room, studio, and garden. Other images reveal the artist’s carefully constructed self-image. Often dressed in pre-Columbian attire, Kahlo demonstrates a deep interest in her Mexican heritage while discretely concealing her physically deformed leg beneath her long flowing skirts.

Highlights of the exhibition include Bernard Silberstein’s Frida painting The Wounded Table, (1940), which juxtaposes the artist with one of her works in progress. Viewed as a whole, the featured images provide extraordinary insight on an artist who described herself as “la gran ocultadora” or the great concealer. This exhibition is organized by Throckmorton Fine Art, New York.



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October 11, 2008

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