The Throckmorton (www.throckmorton-nyc.com) show is being staged to coincide with a comprehensive series of events at the NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN, also beginning in May, that includes a show of Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) paintings and works on paper, curated by art historian Adriana Zavala, that highlights Kahlo’s intense interest in the natural world and botanicals. “FRIDA KAHLO: Art, Garden, Life,” will also feature a dramatically “re-imagined” version of Frida Kahlo’s garden, home and studio in Mexico, La Casa Azul, at the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN.
Dr. Salomon Grimberg, M.D., a leading expert on the life and work of Frida Kahlo, is writing the catalog essay for this show. He will give a talk at the Throckmorton Fine Art gallery titled, “Frida saw herself in a photograph before discovering mirrors...”
He says, “Frida Kahlo's father was a photographer, and as a girl, she saw her looks in his photographs of her before she discovered mirrors, which became the inseparable companions that provided her with a sense of self.
“As much, if not more than any movie star in Mexico, Kahlo was photographed and her photos nurtured the limelight around her. During her first trip to the United States, she was photographed by Lucienne Bloch, Imogene Cunningham, Peter Juley, Martin Munkacsi, Nickolas Muray, Carl van Vechten, and Edward Weston; and the list grew. In Mexico, she posed for Lola Alvarez Bravo, Miguel Alvarez Bravo, Miguel Covarrubias, Gisele Freund, Hector Garcia, Antonio Kahlo, and Berenice Kolko, among others. She was also photographed by Andre Breton and Dora Maar. Lola Alvarez Bravo claimed Kahlo was sought after by photographers because of her aesthetic allure. Today, those same photographs, which drew the public with her magic, continue seducing others. Kahlo and her exotic beauty are part of the universal conscious and everyone was a part of that. There is the right photograph for the right Frida adorateur.”
Spencer Throckmorton says, “Frida Kahlo’s life and art has inspired the world for decades. In many ways she was a champion at overcoming a life of personal tragedy and disappointment. Many of her paintings are self-portraits which enable us to see just how she used her talents to portray her experiences handling challenges that might have consumed those with less determination. Her ability to rise above so many obstacles has left an indelible mark, and is perhaps her greatest achievement.
“The photographers we have chosen to feature in our Frida Kahlo show each seem to have been expert at capturing Kahlo’s life, particularly the solace she found within the walls of the gardens at La Casa Azul. We have loaned several of our photographs of Frida to THE NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN for their show, and the ones we are presenting in our gallery similarly express the respite Kahlo experienced in the safe and beautiful environs of La Casa Azul.”
Among the 20 acclaimed photographers whose images of Frida Kahlo are featured in the Throckmorton “Mirror Mirror….Frida Kahlo Photographs” show are five works by the great German-born photographer Gisele Freund (1908-2000) taken during a two year period beginning in 1950 when Freund was immersed in Mexican culture and spent a good deal of time at Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s home. Freund won many honors including the French Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur in 1983. Her powerful images of Kahlo are a testament to Kahlo’s strength and endurance during incredibly trying times -- they are among the last before her death in 1954.
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