Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life
16 May - 1 November 2015
Photo courtesy of nybg.org
NEW YORK - This blockbuster exhibition is the first to examine Frida Kahlo’s keen appreciation for the beauty and variety of the natural world, as evidenced by her home and garden as well as the complex use of plant imagery in her artwork. Featuring a rare display of more than a dozen original Kahlo paintings and works on paper, this limited six-month engagement also reimagines the iconic artist’s famed garden and studio at the Casa Azul, her lifelong home in Mexico City.
Accompanying events invite visitors to learn about Kahlo’s life and enduring cultural influence through music, lectures, Frida al Fresco evenings, Mexican-inspired shopping and dining experiences, and hands-on art activities for kids.
FRIDA KAHLO: ART
The LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Art Gallery exhibition, curated by Adriana Zavala, Ph.D., features 14 of Kahlo’s paintings and works on paper - many borrowed from private collections - highlighting the artist’s use of botanical imagery in her work. Focusing on her lesser-known yet equally spectacular still lifes, as well as works that engage nature in unusually symbolic ways, this grouping includes Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird (1940); Flower of Life (1944); Still Life with Parrot and Flag (1951); and Self-Portrait Inside a Sunflower (1954).
Humberto Spíndola’s The Two Fridas (Photo courtesy of nybg.org)
The Library building's fourth floor features Artist in Residence Humberto Spíndola’s The Two Fridas, which brings Frida Kahlo’s famous double self-portrait of the same name to life in a three-dimensional installation. Replicas of the iconic dresses Kahlo wears in her painting are rendered in fine tissue paper and tinted with pigments to achieve the effect of fabrics of different textures. The garments are displayed on seated dress forms crafted from reeds that have been molded into human forms.
FRIDA KAHLO: GARDEN
The Haupt Conservatory comes alive with the colors of Kahlo’s Mexico, greeting visitors with an evocation of the artist’s garden at the Casa Azul (Blue House), her lifelong home. Passing through blue courtyard walls, visitors stroll along paths lined with flowers, showcasing a variety of important garden plants from Mexico. A scale version of the artist’s pyramid - created to display pre-Hispanic art collected by her husband, muralist Diego Rivera - features traditional terra-cotta pots filled with Mexican cacti and succulents. The exhibition includes a reimagining of Kahlo’s studio overlooking the garden, as well as the organ pipe cactus fence located at Rivera’s studio in nearby San Ángel. Experience the Casa Azul as an expression of Kahlo’s deep connection to Mexico and to the natural world.
Photo courtesy of nybg.org
FRIDA KAHLO: LIFE
The lively culture and style of Frida Kahlo’s Mexico come to life at the Garden, highlighting the influences behind the artist’s famed work through dance, music, food, and film. Visitors can delight in the spirit of the exhibition during weekend festivities featuring contemporary sets of traditional Mexican songs, in addition to hands-on, family-friendly activities and shopping. Ballet folklórico dance performances and Mexican fare - including some of Kahlo’s own recipes - make for a full day of upbeat and colorful entertainment.
The Mexico City of Frida and Diego
This fascinating panel exhibition in the Ross Gallery presents museums and other sites in Mexico City where Kahlo’s and Rivera’s artwork and personal collections can be viewed, conveying the scope of their artistic and intellectual contributions to the cultural life of Mexico.
Video courtesy of the New York Botanical Garden