February 20, 2008 - May 18, 2008
Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (Autorretrato con collar de espinas y colibrí), 1940
Frida Kahlo, Mexican
Oil on canvas
24 5/8 x 18 7/8 inches
Nickolas Muray Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, The University of Texas at Austin
© 2007 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust. Av.
Cinco de Mayo No. 2, Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc 06059, México, D.F.
February 20, 2008 - May 18, 2008
Organized in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth, Frida Kahlo
is the first major Kahlo exhibition in the United States in nearly fifteen years. It presents over forty of the artist's most important self-portraits, still lifes, and portraits from the beginning of her career in 1926 until her death in 1954. Rendered in vivid colors and realistic detail, Kahlo's jewel-like paintings are filled with complex symbolism, often relating to specific incidents in her life. In her iconic self-portraits the artist continually reinvented herself. Paintings like The Two Kahlos
(1939) demonstrate her penchant for self-examination, and works like Henry Ford Hospital
(1932) and The Broken Column
(1944) express her struggles with illness throughout her life.
The exhibition includes loans from over thirty private and institutional collections in the United States, Mexico, France, and Japan, several of which have never been on public view in the United States. Frida Kahlo
also features a selection of nearly one hundred photographs of Kahlo and her husband, Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, by preeminent international photographers of the period, such as Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Gisèle Freund, Tina Modotti, and Nickolas Muray. Personal snapshots of the artist with family and friends, including such cultural and political luminaries as André Breton and Leon Trotsky, are also on view. These photographs—several of which Kahlo inscribed with dedications, effaced with self-deprecating marks, or kissed, leaving a lipstick trace—pose fascinating questions about an artist who was both the consummate manufacturer of her own image and a captivating and willing photographic subject. On loan from the collection of designer and photographer Vicente Wolf, many of these photographs have never been published or exhibited. Major lenders to the exhibition also include the Museo Dolores Olmedo and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Modern and Contemporary Mexican Art. Presenting an extraordinary combination of paintings and photographs, Frida Kahlo
offers a unique perspective of one of the twentieth century's most important and revered artists.
In conjunction with this exhibition, Walker Art Center has published a richly illustrated catalogue featuring more than 100 color plates as well as critical essays by Hayden Herrera, Elizabeth Carpenter, and Latin American art curator and critic Victor Zamudio-Taylor. A separate plate section is devoted to works from the Vicente Wolf Photography Collection. The catalogue also includes an extensive illustrated timeline of related sociopolitical world events, artistic and cultural developments, and significant personal experiences that took place during Kahlo's lifetime, as well as a selected bibliography, exhibition history, and index.
The national tour of the exhibition is made possible by Bank of America and Fundación Televisa.
Major support for the national tour is provided by Margaret and Angus Wurtele and the Fundación/Colección Jumex. Additional support is provided by Craig Baker.
The exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the U.S. Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Additional support is provided by the National Council for Culture and the Arts (CONACULTA) and the National Institute of Fine Arts (INBA), Mexico.
In Philadelphia, the exhibition is also made possible by Aetna.
Additional support is provided by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the City of Philadelphia, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Robert Montgomery Scott Fund and The Kathleen C. and John J. F. Sherrerd Fund for Exhibitions, The Women's Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, and by Frida's Friends, a group of generous individuals. Promotional support provided by NBC 10 WCAU, Amtrak and Al Día.
is organized by Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Hayden Herrera • Frida Kahlo scholar and biographer
Elizabeth Carpenter • Associate Curator, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
At the Philadelphia Museum of Art:
Michael Taylor • The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art
Emily Hage • Modern and Contemporary Art
Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries, first floor
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis • October 27–January 20, 2008
Philadelphia Museum of Art • February 20–May 18, 2008
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art • June 16–September 28, 2008