Kahlo Inspires and Intrigues Audiences in New Exhibits

By Gilroy, Marilyn | The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education, August 5, 2013 | Go to article overview

Kahlo Inspires and Intrigues Audiences in New Exhibits


Gilroy, Marilyn, The Hispanic Outlook in Higher Education


exican artist Frida Kahlo continues to capture the public's imagination with her paintings, politics and personal style which is why she is once again the subject of major museum exhibitions and media attention.

It has been decades since the advent of "Fridamania," a trend that began in the 1990s but received a big boost in 2002, when the biographical movie, Frida, was released in which Salma Hayek played Kahlo. That movie and subsequent art events, books and articles raised Kahlo to almost a cult status. Famous personalities began collecting her work, including Madonna, who said she "identified with Kahlo's pain and sadness." The U.S. postal service put Kahlo's image on a first-class stamp, making her the first Hispanic woman to receive such an honor.

This year, art historians and curators are taking another look at how Kahlo's life and work still influences new generations of artists and how her beliefs about Mexican politics affected her painting. During her lifetime, Kahlo created approximately 200 paintings, drawings and sketches reflecting her experiences in life, her physical and emotional pain, and her stormy relationship with her husband, the Mexican painter and muralist, Diego Rivera.

Earlier this year, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario, organized a major show of works by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, calling them the two central figures of Mexican modernism. The exhibit, "Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting," featured more than 120 works primarily drawn from the collection of Mexico's Dolores Olmedo as well as the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art.

According to exhibit curators, the myths that surrounded the two artists during their lifetime arose not only from their significant body of work, but also from their active participation in the historical happenings of the time.

"Their art speaks of a fierce loyalty to and pride in Mexico, the ideals of the 1910 Mexican Revolution and their commitment to the conditions of the common man," said Michael E. Shapiro, director of the High Museum of Art.

The exhibit paired works by Kahlo and Rivera chronologically and according to themes, including maternity, Mexican identity and portraiture.

"Frida & Diego" also examined the ways their work continues to influence Mexican artists, with two Frida- and Diego-inspired reading rooms designed by award-winning contemporary Mexican designers, Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena. One reading room design featured a bold red version of Kahlo's unique bed, while the other featured a colorful and whimsical yellow installation inspired by the game of musical chairs.

Like previous museums that presented Kahlo exhibits, the High enjoyed a robust public response. "The exhibition has been very well received by our audiences, and we've welcomed more than 130,000 people to the museum," said Marci Tate, public relations specialist at the High. "School groups came through the High to see the exhibition every week, and our school group attendance exceeded 30,000. Our opening party held last February was our highest attended opening event ever, with over 2,600 guests."

That will come as no surprise to those who have observed the growth in Kahlo's popularity and its subsequent effect on museum attendance. As the Kahlo phenomenon continued to grow in the past decade, it attracted new audiences to art exhibits. The attention brought with it renewed critical analysis of Kahlo's work and also spawned a flood of merchandising.

When Kahlo was included in a 2002 exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), along with artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, the show drew large crowds, including many younger people. Those who visited the gift shops snapped up memorabilia and items related to Kahlo's' style of dress. Likewise, when Kahlo was featured in museum exhibits in Texas and Arizona, gift shops reported brisk sales of Kahlo posters, dolls, tote bags, watches, mirrors and photos. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Kahlo Inspires and Intrigues Audiences in New Exhibits
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.