Frida Kahlo is one of the most striking artistic figures of the 20th century. She became a pioneer by incorporating herself in her art in a new, active way. With self-portraits and intimate depictions of her dramatic life, Kahlo challenges the boundary between oeuvre and biography, between art and everyday culture. Kahlo’s paintings are at once relentlessly self-revealing and profoundly theatrical. Her art has its origin in her personal experiences, but she also creates an identity for herself through her art, thus making art and life two sides of the same coin.
With paintings, drawings and collages, the exhibition offers a close look at Kahlo's oeuvre, including a number of her iconic self-portraits. A section of the exhibition will illustrate how she had her portrait taken throughout life by some of the most prominent photographers of the time. In these she develops her public image as an exotic woman dressed in traditional Mexican costumes.
Kahlo’s self-aware appearance in paintings and photographs is part of a wider tendency where Mexico’s artists, in the time after the Mexican Revolution (1910-20) tried to break free of European influence and rediscover their own roots. The most prominent artist in this “Mexican Renaissance” was Kahlo’s husband Diego Rivera, who will be amply represented in the exhibition. The exhibition also sheds light on Kahlo’s place in this cultural movement with works by contemporary artists such as María Izquierdo, David Alfaro Siquieros, José Clemente Orozco and others.