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from 20 March 2014 to 31 August 2014
Rome, Scuderie del Quirinale

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, Sel-portrait with Thorne Necklace, 1940, © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México D.F. by SIAE 2014

Press Release

The exhibition at the Scuderie del Quirinale is Italy’s frist retrospective of the Mexican artist. Curated by Helga Prignitz-Poda, the author of the catalogue raisonné of the Kahlo’s works, and organized by the Azienda Speciale Palaexpo with MondoMostre, the exhibition will include about 130 paintings and drawings. It will cover her entire artistic career, bringing together the absolute masterpieces from the most important public and private collections in Mexico, Europe, and the United States.

Her paintings are not only the reflection of her biographical vicissitudes, which were marked by the physical and psychological damage inflicted by the terrible accident in which she was involved when she was 17 years old. Her art is fused with the history and the spirit of the world of her time, reflecting the social and cultural transformations that led to the Mexican Revolution and ensued from it. The revolutionary spirit drove her to reinterpret the native past and the traditions of its folklore, identity codes that generated an unprecedented fusion between self-expression, and the language, the imagination, and the colors and symbols of Mexican popular culture. At the same time, Kahlo is an expression of the artistic avant-garde and the cultural exuberance of her time, and study of her work enables us to understand the interweaving of the trajectories of all the international cultural movements that passed through Mexico at that time: from revolutionary Pauperism and Stridentism to Surrealism and what years later came to be called Magical Realism.  

The exhibition will display and investigate Frida Kahlo’s artistic production in its evolution from its beginnings under the influence of the New Objectivity and Magical Realism and her reinterpretation of ancestral and traditional native art to the reflections of the American Realism of the 1920s and 30s and the ideological and political components modeled on Mexican Muralism, as well as account for such influences. Thus, by walking through  a single and rare exhibition, it will be possible to admire Kahlo’s works next to a selection of works by the artists active in that period who “lived” physically and artistically near her, from her husband, Diego Rivera – who will be present with several significant works, such as "Portrait of Natasha Gelman" from 1943, "Nude (Frida Kahlo)" from 1930, and  "Self-portrait" from 1948 – to others such as José Clemente Orozco, José David Alfaro Siqueiros,n and Maria Izquierdo.