Bendigo Art Gallery will soon commence the installation of a new international exhibition, Frida Kahlo, her photos, featuring 241 photographs from the extensive archive of the Casa Azul (Blue House) in Mexico. Frida Kahlo is considered one of the most celebrated artists of the twentieth century. An avid proponent of traditional Mexican culture, Frida’s paintings have come to represent the strength of Mexican Modernism of the 1930s and 1940s, a style which still remains popular today.
First revealed to the public in 2007, the Casa Azul photographic archive was inaccessible for five decades due to the wishes of Frida’s husband, Diego Rivera. From more than 6500 images, Mexican photographer and photography historian Pablo Ortiz Monasterio has selected a thematic exhibition focussing on six central areas: Origins; Blue House; Politics, Revolutions and Diego; Broken Body; Frida’s Loves, and Photography.
Frida’s interest in photography began in childhood – both her father, Guillermo Kahlo and her maternal grandfather were professional photographers. Throughout the course of her life Frida meticulously accumulated a vast collection of photographs. While a number of the images undoubtedly belonged to her family and Diego Rivera, it was Frida who gathered these and ensured they too were preserved for posterity. These photographs were of great emotional importance: Frida interacted with the photos, painting them, leaving imprints of kisses, writing her thoughts on them. While she treasured these as objects that connected her to the people she loved and admired, they also provided her with resource material, with images of history, art and nature.
The exhibition also includes several photographs from known photographers who were her contemporaries and friends including Man Ray, Martin Munkácsi, Edward Weston, Tina Modotti, Pierre Verger, and Lola and Manuel Álvarez Bravo.
The photos in the exhibition capture the interests and obsessions Frida grappled with throughout her life: her family, her fascination for Diego Rivera and other loves, her friends and enemies, political struggles and art, the pre-Columbian past and her great love for Mexico and its traditions.
Frida Kahlo, her photos will be on display at Bendigo Art Gallery from 8 December 2018 – 10 February 2019. Entry is by donation. Frida Kahlo, her photos is exclusive to Bendigo Art Gallery in Australia from the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Museums, and is toured by Terra Esplêndida. The Bank of Mexico is the fiduciary of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums.