We'll be making our own fun, but that doesn't mean there's not tons of cool stuff going on in Philly while we're there. Here's one.
Organized in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the artist's birth, Frida Kahlo is the first major Kahlo exhibition in the United States in nearly fifteen years. It presents over 40 of the artist's most important self-portraits, still lifes, and portraits from the beginning of her career in 1926 until her death in 1954. Rendered in vivid colors and realistic detail, Kahlo's jewel-like paintings are filled with complex symbolism, often relating to specific incidents in her life. In her iconic self-portraits the artist continually reinvented herself. Paintings like The Two Kahlos (1939) demonstrate her penchant for self-examination, and works like Henry Ford Hospital (1932) and The Broken Column (1944) express her struggles with illness throughout her life.
The exhibition includes loans from over 30 private and institutional collections in the United States, Mexico, France, and Japan, several of which have never been on public view in the United States. Frida Kahlo also features a selection of nearly 100 photographs of Kahlo and her husband, Mexican muralist Diego Rivera, by preeminent international photographers of the period, such as Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Gisele Freund, Tina Modotti, and Nickolas Muray. Personal snapshots of the artist with family and friends, including such cultural and political luminaries as André Breton and Leon Trotsky, are also on view. These photographs—several of which Kahlo inscribed with dedications, effaced with self-deprecating marks, or kissed, leaving a lipstick trace—pose fascinating questions about an artist who was both the consummate manufacturer of her own image and a captivating and willing photographic subject. On loan from the collection of designer and photographer Vicente Wolf, many of these photographs have never been published or exhibited. Major lenders to the exhibition also include the Museo Dolores Olmedo and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Modern and Contemporary Mexican Art. Presenting an extraordinary combination of paintings and photographs, Frida Kahlo offers a unique perspective of one of the twentieth century's most important and revered artists.
In conjunction with this exhibition, Walker Art Center is publishing a richly illustrated catalogue featuring more than 100 color plates as well as critical essays by Hayden Herrera, Elizabeth Carpenter, and Latin American art curator and critic Victor Zamudio Taylor. A separate plate section is devoted to works from the Vicente Wolf Photography Collection. The catalogue also includes an extensive illustrated timeline of related sociopolitical world events, artistic and cultural developments, and significant personal experiences that took place during Kahlo's lifetime, as well as a selected bibliography, exhibition history, and index.
The exhibit is in the Main Building, located at 26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, PA 19130. The Main Building is open from 10:00 am until 8:45 pm on Fridays. (It is also open from 10:00 until 5:00 on weekends).
The webpage for the Kahlo exhibit is here. Tickets for regular adults are $23.00
Hecate's going Friday evening, but others are coming in earlier of Friday and going then, or after brunch on Sunday. You can make your plans in the comments.