Philbrook hosts major Frida Kahlo exhibition

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Philbrook hosts major Frida Kahlo exhibition
Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907–1954). The Bride who Becomes Frightened when she Sees Life Opened, 1943. Oil on canvas, 24 3/4 x 32 1/8”. The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and The Vegel Foundation. ©️ 2022 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

TULSA, OKLA.- It’s time to experience Frida at Philbrook. In what’s sure to be one of the region’s premier cultural attractions of Summer 2022, Philbrook Museum of Art presents the special exhibition, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism. Experience work by one of the art world’s most famous power couples though original paintings, drawings, prints, clothing, and over 100 photographs.

“One of the things I love most about museums is their capacity to bring communities together,” said Philbrook President and CEO Scott Stulen. “This special exhibition gives us the potential to do just that and take a it to a new level.”

Drawn from the collection Jacques and Natasha Gelman, philanthropists who acquired works from the artists themselves, this exhibition marks the first ever Tulsa presentation of paintings by Kahlo, Rivera, and many of their contemporaries. Of these works, seven are Kahlo’s self-portraits, including her iconic 1943 painting, Diego on my Mind. Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism will be on view July 6-September 11, 2022.

The exhibition takes a closer look at the role that art, artists, and their supporters played in the emergence of national identity and creative spirit in the period following the Mexican Revolution. In 1920, Mexico was a new constitutional republic addressing economic and social inequities imposed under centuries of Spanish colonial rule, and artists were giving visual form to such ideals as communal use of land, and celebrating ancestral traditions and Indigenous identities. In post-revolution Mexico, many public gardens were re-introducing native plants that had been displaced during 400 years of Spanish occupation. This movement was an effort to re-Indigenize common spaces, evoke the Mexican countryside for city dwellers, and inspire a greater sense of national pride in Mexico’s cultural and botanical roots.

Spanning several galleries throughout the Museum, the exhibition also extends into the 25-acre Philbrook Gardens, giving visitors a taste of what it was like to be in the garden at Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City home, La Casa Azul (The Blue House). Both Frida and Diego connected to the land through their love of gardens, an inspiration seen in many of their works that prominently feature calla lilies, cacti, sunflowers, and other plants native to the region.

“To Frida and Diego, these plants held nationalistic significance,” said Rachel Keith, Deputy Director, Audience Engagement & Curatorial Affairs . “Especially for their connection to pre-Hispanic cultural and spiritual traditions and for manifesting mexicanidad—being uniquely Mexican.”

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism offers a deep exploration of the real people behind this work—and how their personas and their artistic practice continue to resonate with audiences today. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime happening.

The Exhibition is organized by the Vergel Foundation and MondoMostre in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (INBAL).

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