NEW YORK, NY.- The New York Botanical Garden
announces its major 2015 exhibition, Frida Kahlos Garden, focusing on the iconic artists engagement with nature in her native country of Mexico. Opening on May 16, 2015, and remaining on view through November 1, 2015, the exhibition will be the first solo presentation of Kahlos work in New York City in more than 25 years, and the first exhibition to focus exclusively on Kahlos intense interest in the botanical world.
Visitors to the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will walk through a stunning flower show re-imagining Kahlos studio and garden at Casa Azul (Blue House) in Coyoacán, Mexico City. Curated by distinguished art historian and specialist in Mexican art Adriana Zavala, Ph.D., the multifaceted exhibition will include a rare display of more than a dozen original Kahlo paintings and drawings on view in the LuEsther T. Mertz Librarys Rondina and LoFaro Gallery at the Garden. Accompanying events invite visitors to learn about Kahlos Mexico in a new way through poetry, lectures, themed events, tours, a Mexican food market, and an iPhone app.
Frida Kahlos Garden will be a one-of-a-kind exhibition that will provide an in-depth look at Kahlos work and artistic environment and also celebrate the energy and sophistication of Mexican culture, explains Gregory Long, CEO and The William C. Steere Sr. President at the Garden. Frida Kahlo is a profoundly important artist whose work reflects the complexity of the artists life and times. The Garden is proud to present this focused look at Kahlos work, which examines how it was influenced by nature.
The Garden at Casa Azul
The landmark Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at The New York Botanical Garden will come alive with the colors and textures of Frida Kahlos home country of Mexico during the 2015 exhibition. Visitors entering the exhibition will view a re-imagined version of Kahlos garden at Casa Azul, the artists childhood home outside of Mexico City where she resided in her later years, transforming it with traditional Mexican folk-art objects, colonial-era art, religious ex-voto paintings, and native Mexican plants. Passing through the blue courtyard walls, visitors will stroll along lava rock paths lined with flowers, showcasing a variety of plants native to Mexico. A scale version of the pyramid at Casa Azuloriginally created to display pre-Columbian art collected by Kahlos husband, famed muralist Diego Riverawill showcase Mexican terra-cotta pots filled with plants found in her garden.
Kahlos Works on View
The LuEsther T. Mertz Librarys Rondina and LoFaro Gallery at the Garden will exhibit more than a dozen of Kahlos paintings and works on papermany borrowed from private collectionshighlighting the artists use of botanical imagery in her work. This never-before-seen grouping of artworks will include Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940); Flower of Life (1944); Still Life with Parrot and Flag (1951); and Self-Portrait Inside a Sunflower (1954).
Frida Kahlo, Her Work, Her Garden
Frida Kahlo (19071954), revered as one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, has risen to prominence over the past three decades as an international symbol of Mexican and feminist identity. Important aspects of her lifes story, including her tumultuous relationship with her husband, muralist Diego Rivera (18861957), and her struggle with injury and illness, are well known and have been documented in countless biographies, exhibitions, fictional accounts, and analyses of her art. Frida Kahlos Garden will add to this legacy by showcasing the artists love of Mexican plants and nature.
Of Kahlos approximately 200 paintings, 55 are self-portraits, and many more are portraits of friends and colleagues, including art patrons. Many of these portraits incorporate plants and other organic materials. In her still-life paintings, she depicts a variety of Mexican fruit and flowers alongside animals, Mexican folk art, and pre-Columbian objects. Kahlos inclusion of plants and nature in her work spans her entire career but her most intensive dedication to the still-life genre dates to the 1940s and 1950s, particularly as her health declined and she was increasingly confined to her home and garden, which underwent its most significant period of development during the 1930s and 1940s.