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5 fascinating works by Frida Kahlo come to Texas for a limited time

January 5, 2021 | In the Press

From CultureMap.com (https://houston.culturemap.com/news/arts/01-05-21-frida-kahlo-dallas-museum-of-art-houston/#slide=0)

Texas fans of Frida Kahlo will get a rare treat this spring when a Dallas museum displays five privately held works by the renowned Mexican painter. The Dallas Museum of Art will present "Frida Kahlo: Five Works," February 28-June 20.

The showcase will include four paintings and a drawing on loan from a private collection, courtesy of the Galería Arvil in Mexico City. It will run simultaneously with "Devoted: Art and Spirituality in Mexico and New Mexico," featuring works from the DMA’s Latin American collection. 

The works in the exhibition will reflect the events and experiences of Kahlo's life (1907-1954), while exploring larger aspects of her artistic practice, the museum says.

"In her lifetime, Kahlo’s work was well-known in artistic circles, particularly in Mexico and the United States," the museum says in a release. "In the years since her death in 1954, her work has garnered ever-increasing critical attention and international praise. Today, her fame is so widespread that she has gone from being simply a celebrated artist, to a global cultural phenomenon."

Pieces on display (with descriptions given by the DMA) include:

  • The drawing View of New York (1932), which captures the vista from Kahlo’s window at the Barbizon Plaza Hotel, where she and husband Diego Rivera stayed during a segment of their sojourn in the United States.
  • Diego and Frida 1929-1944 (1944), an intimate painting still housed in the original shell-covered frame selected by Kahlo; a personal memento created by the artist to mark her 15-year relationship with Rivera.
  • Sun and Life (1947), in which Kahlo draws on her extensive knowledge of art and spirituality from throughout history to weave an intense rumination on the cycle of life and death.
  • Still Life with Parrot and Flag (1951) and Still Life (1951), in which we see Kahlo exploring the potential of a genre that would dominate her final years — the still life. "In both works, Kahlo pushes the boundaries of traditional still-life painting, transforming her assemblages of native Mexican fruits, national symbols, and ancient artifacts into ruminations on her own identity," the DMA says.

“It is always exciting to delve into the works of a dynamic artist like Frida Kahlo,” says Dr. Agustín Arteaga, the DMA’s Eugene McDermott Director, in the release. “This generous loan will offer our visitors a chance to look closely at these five works and explore the many stories they can tell about Kahlo, her remarkable work, and her inspiring life.”

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Mark A. Castro, the Jorge Baldor Curator of Latin American Art. Castro and the DMA’s Painting Conservator Laura Hartman have used non-invasive imaging techniques, such as x-radiography and infrared photography, to get a closer look at three of the paintings and further explore Kahlo's techniques for the public to see.

“At a time when art has become a critical source of solace and inspiration for many of us, this small installation offers a glimpse into the work of one today’s most admired artists,” says Castro.

The exhibition will be included in free general admission to the DMA. A virtual tour will also be available at virtual.DMA.org.

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