This fall, the Art Gallery of Ontario
will present a major survey of masterworks by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, two renowned and prolific early 20th-century painters whose work continues to resonate with viewers around the world.
Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting features 75 works by the artists, drawn primarily from the collection of Mexicos Museo Dolores Olmedo. These works highlight Rivera and Kahlos lives together and apart, their politics and relationship to society and how their passionate views and activism influenced their work. The exhibition will be at the AGO from Oct. 20, 2012 through Jan. 20, 2013.
Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting is presented in collaboration with the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia, which will display the exhibition in February 2013. This relationship signals a continuation of the AGOs commitment to working with the worlds most esteemed art institutions, following partnerships with New Yorks Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Musée National Picasso, Paris.
I am delighted to join forces on this project with the High, a museum for which I have the utmost respect, says Matthew Teitelbaum, AGO Director and CEO. Collaborations such as these strengthen the international community of art institutions and allow us to continue bringing the worlds most renowned art to our visitors and members.
Frida & Diego marks the first time important work by two influential Mexican artists will be shown in the Southeast, said Michael E. Shapiro, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green Director of the High Museum of Art. By working with the Art Gallery of Ontario, the High Museum of Art continues its commitment to collaborative partnerships that bring great works of art from around the world to Atlanta.
Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting positions the artists work in the political and artistic contexts of their time. Kahlo, whose paintings were described by French poet and writer André Breton as a ribbon around a bomb, was called a Surrealist by some, but she resisted the label and claimed she painted her reality, not her dreams. The selected works allude to both artists support for the Communist movement, as well as the concept of Mexicanidad, an identification with Mexicos indigenous roots.
The opportunity to bring the works of these iconic painters to Toronto is truly extraordinary, says Elizabeth Smith, the AGOs Executive Director of Curatorial Affairs. The exhibition highlights Kahlo and Riveras development as artists and gives visitors a glimpse into their private lives, which were famously as tumultuous as they were inspired.
Notable works by Kahlo include:
Hospital Henry Ford (Henry Ford Hospital); 1932, oil on metal;
Autorretrato con monos (Self Portrait with Monkeys); 1943, oil on canvas;
La columna rota (The Broken Column); 1944, oil on masonite;
El abrazo de amor de el universo, la tierra (México), Diego, yo y el Señor Xólotl (The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth (Mexico), Diego, Me and Señor Xólotl); 1949, oil on masonite.
Notable works by Rivera include:
Autorretrato (Self Portrait); 1930, lithograph;
La canoa enflorada (The Flowered Canoe); 1931, oil on canvas;
Vendedora de alcatraces (Calla Lily Vendor); 1943, oil on masonite;
El joven de la estilográfica (Portrait of Best Maugard); 1914, oil on canvas.
The Museo Dolores Olmedo houses the worlds largest assemblage of work by Kahlo, including many considered to be among her masterpieces, such as The Broken Column, Henry Ford Hospital and Self Portrait with Small Monkey. The museums collection also features numerous works by Rivera that helped establish the Mexican School of Painting, as well as his portraits, both of which are represented in Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting.
The exhibition also features works from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art, which comprises the largest private holding of 20th-century Mexican art, spanning works from the 1910s to the 1990s. Friends of Rivera and Kahlo, the Gelmans amassed a significant number of their works, including Kahlos inventive self-portraits and Riveras portrait of Natasha Gelman from 1943.