Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera
Works from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art
October 23, 2011–January 22, 2012
In October 2011, the Gothenburg Museum of Art opened an exhibition in which the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera were shown together for the first time in Sweden.
This acclaimed exhibition included around thirty important works by the artists from the Natasha and Jacques Gelman Collection of Modern Mexican Art. It featured a number of Frida Kahlo’s most famous self-portraits and important and rarely shown oil paintings by Diego Rivera. The exhibition also included drawings, woodcuts, collages and photographs, and a video work by the Japanese artist Yasumasu Morimura.
For a long time, Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) was relatively unknown, but today she is one of the most highly regarded international artists. Her subject matter is varied but she is most famous for her profoundly personal self-portraits. However, her oeuvre is just as much about politics, national identity, multiculturalism and feminism on a more general level. This makes her highly relevant in a contemporary context.
Diego Rivera (1886–1957) was esteemed and successful throughout his career, but today he often stands in the shadow of his internationally more famous wife. His oeuvre encompasses a huge production in a number of different materials and techniques. He has chiefly been recognized as a mural painter with important commissions in Mexico and the United States, at the Rockefeller Center and the Detroit Institute of Arts, for instance. But from early on, the rest of his production also made him one of the pioneers of modernism in both Europe and North America.
Frida Kahlo’s and Diego Rivera’s art, marriage and dramatic life together was documented by famous photographers such as Nickolas Murray, Lucienne Bloch and Martin Munkacsi. In recent decades, the two artists have inspired a wave of books and films that have attracted a lot of interest, especially for the art of Frida Kahlo.
The Gelman Collection was founded by the film producer Jacques Gelman and his wife Natasha. It comprises more than 300 works and is owned and administered by the Vergel Foundation, based in Mexico City and New York. In addition to artworks by European artists such as Léger, Miró, Matisse and Picasso, the Gelman Collection is the world’s most important private collection of 20th century Mexican Art.
The exhibition was carried out with the support of the Region of Västra Götaland. The main sponsor was the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture. The exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue. Read more about the catalogue here.
Caption: Frida Kahlo, Self-portrait as Tehuana or Diego on my mind (partly shown), 1943© 2016, Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México D.F (Copyrighted image)