Frida & Diego by Dot Tuer
Passion, Politics and Painting

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Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera's (1886-1957) legendary passion for each other and for Mexico's revolutionary culture during the 1920s and 1930s have made them among the twentieth century's most famous artists. During their life together as a married couple, Rivera achieved prominence as a muralist artist, while Kahlo's intimate paintings were embraced by the Surrealist movement and the Mexican art world--but neither were especially well known in the broader context of art and modernism. After their deaths in the 1950s, important retrospectives of Kahlo's work enshrined her as one of the most significant women artists of the twentieth century, somewhat eclipsing Rivera's international fame as Mexico's greatest muralist painter. Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting offers a new perspective on their artistic significance for the twenty-first century, one that shows how their paintings reflect both the dramatic story of their lives together and their artistic commitment to the transformative political and cultural values of post-revolutionary Mexico. Frida & Diego features newly photographed color reproductions of 75 paintings and works on paper by both Kahlo and Rivera, rarely reproduced archival photographs and new biographical information on the couple assembled by scholar Dot Tuer. It is published on the occasion of an exhibition assembled from three distinguished Mexican private collections on Mexican art, and presented at the Art Gallery of Ontario and the High Museum of Art Atlanta.

About Dot Tuer

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Frida Kahlo lived fewer than 50 years, but hers was an intensely examined life, and one that enthusiasts all over the world are still poring over. As a child in the suburbs of Mexico City, Kahlo, born in 1907, survived polio. As a teenager already enrolled in premedical studies, her body was brought forcefully to her attention again by a bus accident whose physical repercussions would shape the rest of her days, crucially inform her artwork and eventually kill her. Kahlo was already a painter when she married the political muralist Diego Rivera at 22, a volatile pairing that survived much unrest and one divorce and remarriage. She had her first solo exhibition in 1938, at New Yorkis Julien Levy Gallery, and saw some growth in her career before her death in 1954, but nothing like the steady, exponential increase of interest and respect that has continued since. Exhibits, books and reproductions abound, and 2002 saw the release of a high-profile feature film about her life starring Salma Hayek. Biography: Diego Rivera (1886-1957) was a mural painter, watercolorist, illustrator, husband to Frida Kahlo and a Communist who was ejected from most of the political organizations he joined. When he included a portrait of Lenin in his 1933 mural for the RCA Building in New York, the ensuing uproar led to his dismissal and to the mural's destruction. Similarly, a 1948 mural for the Hotel de Prado in Mexico that included the words "God does not exist" was concealed from public view for nine years.
Published January 31, 2013 by Art Gallery of Ontario/High Museum of Art Atlanta. 96 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography.

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