March 20 at the cultural capital of Russia starts the exhibition “VIVA LA VIDA. FRIDA KAHLO AND DIEGO RIVERA. Paintings and drawings from museums and private collections”, which will delight citizens and guests of St. Petersburg until 19 may.
The exposition will unfold in the Faberge Museum due to a cultural-historical Fund “Link of times” and the support of PJSC “Gazprom”. Cultural-historical Fund “Link of times” is a non – profit organization that undertakes projects dedicated to the return to Russia of the lost cultural and historical values, participates in the implementation of cultural programs.
“Frida is a ribbon wrapped around a bomb” — as the founder of surrealism Andre Breton described the art and life of the great Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Her paintings — a dangerous mix of Mexican folk motifs and naive art in the spirit of the French modernists, as they are based on a story of pain and love, passion and misunderstandings that accompanied Frida her entire life. From this alloy there was an image that went through the whole XX century and has become a challenge to the foundations of Western society.
For two months in the heart of St. Petersburg, the audience will see unique retrospective of the two artists more than 90 works of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, from early to late: paintings, drawings, lithographs. The display will be works from the collection of the Museo Dolores Olmedo (Mexico city), which has the world’s largest collection of paintings of Kahlo and Rivera paintings and drawings from private collections in Europe and Latin America, works from the collection of the grandson of Diego Rivera, Juan Coronel Rivera and gallery “Arvil” (Mexico, USA), as well as previously unpublished documents from the Russian state archives. Complementing the exhibition, numerous photographs and documentary films about the life and work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.
Their acquaintance took place due to the painting when restoring power after the accident, Frida was brought to assessment eminent painter Rivera his first work. “This girl is an artist from birth, extremely sensitive and capable of observation” — so later will tell Rivera about the work of the young generation. Their relationship would be overfilled with emotion and passion, all this will be reflected in her work. “I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality” — describes the creativity of Frida. Her work is of a pass in a surreal world, which at first enchants with its bright colors, and then reveals the depth of feeling of the artist, the pain of endless operations that she had to move, and the passion that filled her life. The exhibition will include early work of Frida, based on the traditions of European portraiture of the Renaissance, and works of the period of blossoming of her talent. The key work of Frida are her self-portraits. Viewers can see one of the most famous works of Kahlo’s “Broken column” (1944), a kind of Manifesto of her suffering and resistance to the blows of fate, the artistic symbol of the power of women. “Self-portrait with monkey”, all the images which are added to the message: Frida again does not trust Diego, and she draws strength from her past and those who are loyal to her. She became the first artist who turned to the theme of the loss of a child — “Hospital Henry Ford” (1932), which may seem shockingly intimate even for a modern viewer.
“Historically, the river in Russia know better than Frida. In Soviet times through the prism of social realism Diego Rivera was seen as ideologically close to the artist on an international scale; his wife Frida Kahlo — as ignorant, and even fallen under the pernicious influence of surrealism, an Amateur. Today, regardless of personal preferences in art, we cannot but feel how changed the perception of these two brilliant artists! Think of Rivera as an artist fully owns the twentieth century, art which it is impossible to fully imagine without his epic painting. On the contrary, incredibly personal art of Frida Kahlo is like not have a residence permit in time and space and belongs to all mankind in its present and future,” says V. S. Voronchenko, Chairman of the Board of the cultural-historical Fund “Link of times”.
The works of Frida and Diego meet in the Central part of the exposition. It will roll of canvases by the two artists and the Union of two unique personalities in a story of rivalry in the art of love-struggle, which for many years was the main theme of Frida Kahlo’s oeuvre: “In my life there were two accidents: one when the bus crashed into a tram; the other is Diego.” If the car accident was a fatal accident, because of the conflicting nature in which the strength and independence combined with the obsession and sacrifice, a difficult relationship with Diego Rivera was inevitable.
The exhibition will trace all the stages of art Diego Rivera: from a fascination with impressionism and cubism to realism. So, from the deeply personal work of Frida the viewer moves on to the monumental and socially-oriented works of Diego. “A significant contribution to the scientific exhibition concept made world-renowned expert on the works of Frida Kahlo, the author of the catalogue raisonné, Dr. Helga Prignitz-Poda” — said at a press conference in Moscow V. S. Voronchenko. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with articles Catherine Lopatkina, Helga Prignitz-Poda and Rafael Coronel Rivera.
Spectators will acquaint with photo and video materials from Museum and private collections, photographs from the family archive taken by Frida’s father, photographer Guillermo Kahlo, as well as works by Gisele Freud, which for two years filming the daily lives of Frida, the work of the outstanding American photographer Nicholas Muray that with a 30-x 40-ies was a friend, confidant and lover Frida.
Visitors can explore the unique correspondence of Frida and Diego from the collection of Anne-Marie Springer, a collector of love letters from Switzerland. Documents reveal controversial, passionate relationship artists. The exhibition will also present a certificate of conclusion of second marriage: at the end of 1939 Frida and Diego divorced after numerous scandals, but a year later again combined bonds of marriage.
In March will be recreated amazing inconsistent universe is one of the most important artistic couples of the twentieth century, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, where the bright Mexican culture is intertwined with outrageous fashion, revolutionary manifestos side by side with passionate love.
Faberge Museum continues its series of exhibitions of the most famous and influential artists of the XX century, in which already held screenings of works by Salvador Dalí, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine and others.