Love affair in art: the exhibition of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera opened in the Moscow Manege

Love affair in art: the exhibition of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera opened in the Moscow Manege
26 December 2018, Wednesday

This season, more than ever in the trend of love stories in art. This could first be felt at an exhibition about Picasso and Khokhlova in the Pushkin Museum, and now in the Manege - in retrospect of Kalo and Rivera.


Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are like two poles who were destined to reach out to each other all their lives. The story of their love is full of passion, betrayal and sharp turns. And art, as polar as their personalities, suddenly merged into a single organism. You can feel the magnetism of the most famous couple in art at the blockbuster exhibition in the Manezh, organized by the St. Petersburg Museum of Faberge and the Link of Times cultural and historical foundation. Double retrospective is about 90 works - paintings, drawings, lithographs.


The project opens photo chronology and biographies of artists. The story of Frida is a story of pain and overcoming. From childhood she suffered - first from a lack of maternal love (there were six children in the family) and the effects of polio suffered at the age of 6, which left her lame for life (one leg was thinner and shorter than the other). Then - from the results of the car accident (the collision of the bus, in which Frida was driving, with the tram). She received numerous injuries and fractures due to which she could not have children and experienced constant pain. And later - mental anguish due to the innumerable betrayals of her husband, to which she answered a hundredfold. Frida - bold, daring, bright - self-taught artist, whose work is personal through. Diego's art, on the contrary, is social, revolutionary in all senses. He is a giant with the face and soul of a child, quick-tempered and loving. By the time of the meeting with Frida, he managed to get a professional education, live 14 years in Europe, meet the main artists of his time, such as Picasso and Modigliani, and become famous. Marry and divorce twice, become a father and lose a son. And so their fate intersected. First, for a moment, Diego painted the audience at the school where Frid was studying: the girl several times shouted biting comments from behind the column, and in one of the evenings asked to watch the work of the eminent master. And later (he was 43, and she was 22) their lives were united forever.


The heart of the exhibition was the love correspondence of spouses from the Anne-Marie Springer collection, exhibited in the central hall. “Thank you, my life, for being with me. If you find me asleep, I will send you thousands of kisses, ”writes Frida Diego in 1944, after the second wedding, several forced abortions and endless operations. Here, in the central hall, two key works. The first is one of the most famous paintings of Frida, the miniature canvas “Broken Column”. Her naked body is pierced with nails, which symbolizes not only physical pain, but also mental pain (the expression “to drive a nail” in Mexico means to change), but instead of a spinal column - a fractured ancient column. The second is the most unknown work of Diego, once donated by the USSR and lost in the vaults of the Pushkin Museum. Five-meter canvas "Glorious victory" of the coup in Guatemala in 1954, "bought" with American money and claimed thousands of lives. It is curious that on the back of the canvas there is a sketch for the same plot.


The exhibition space is divided into two halves. The right one is male. The background for the art of Rivera is the blue color in which the house where Diego and Frida lived in Mexico City is painted. Left - female, framed in terracotta colors, symbolizing the connection with the Mexican land. Appeal to pre-Columbian traditions - that unites the work of the spouses. Both write to the indigenous peoples of the continent and set the tone for the national art of post-revolutionary Mexico. Diego and Frida are children of the revolution of 1910, they lived and thought with these ideas. Frida even called the year of her birth not 1907, but 1910 minutes. In its half a lot of national, but even more personal - self-portraits, drawing made after a car accident, a picture of it after operations. At one of them, meat is poured into the girl through a funnel, which is symbolically depicted to the limit and at the same time realistic. In reality, Frida was a vegetarian, but after operations she needed protein, and she was fed through a funnel with ground meat from animals. One of the most recent works by the artist is made on metal: Frida’s decapitated naked body seems to be eroding acid. This is also close to reality: in recent years, the pain was so unbearable that the painkillers no longer helped, and Frida tried to drown her with alcohol and drugs.


until February 22, 2019

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