Saturday, September 2, 2017

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera at The Heard

Selections from the Gelman Collection

Jacques and Natasha Gelman were pretty exceptional. Natasha settled in Mexico City after escaping from Eastern Europe in 1939.  Natasha met Jacques (a Russian born Frenchman who was in Mexico City representing a French film company) when he saw her reading a French language newspaper in a hotel garden. They married in 1941 and took up residence in Acapulco. Jacques went on to become a renowned (and wealthy) filmmaker representing such stars as Cantinflas.

 Natasha Gelman
Diego Rivera 1943
The first Mexican work to enter the Gelman's art colleciton

The Gelman's wealth and fame allowed them to travel freely among the world's most famous celebrities and to assemble a remarkable art collection. In addition to numerous works by Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo their private collection included pieces by Joan Miro, Matisse and Picasso.

During a period of time when Mexican painter and muralist Diego Rivera had become a global art superstar the Gelman's developed a somewhat complex relationship between the Gelmans, Rivera and Frida Kahlo. At that time Frida's fame was mainly limited to Mexico. 

Of course over time the deeply personal work Kahlo produced during her short but prolific life has begun to eclipse the fame of Rivera.

Upon the Natasha's death in 1998 the Gelman collection which had been donated to the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art became the subject of immense legal battles. During this time its conservator actually hid the collection for a period of time.  Happily, the collection has re-emerged and is once again being exhibited worldwide. 

Specific photographs and pieces in the collection by Diego Rivera and Kahlo were exhibited at Phoenix's Heard Museum from April through August.

So for those that missed it, here are a few highlights.

A Family Photo of a 20 Year Old Frida Kahlo
 Guillermo Kahlo 1928

Photograph of Frida Kahlo Age 23
Imogen Cunningham 1931

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera
Martin Munkasi 1934

Calla Lilly Vendor
Diego Rivera 1943

Self-Portrait With Monkeys
Frida Kahlo 1943

In 1943 Frida Kahlo was appointed professor at the National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking. FOr Kahlo, who was self taught, this was a high honor. On this painting the four adoring monkeys are thought to represent a group of adoring students known as "Los Fridos".

The Bride Who Becomes Frightened When She Sees Life Opened
Frida Kahlo 1943

Frida Style Clothing

Roadboy's Travels © 2017

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