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News 2002

30 December 2004

  November 29th, 2002 - Art historian offers rare look at pastel works by Kahlo and Rivera

Steven Platzman, an art historian and private dealer in San Francisco since 1999, has a dozen works on paper by Kahlo and 10 by Diego Rivera, on view by appointment only, in the Pacific Heights flat he uses as a showplace. They have not been shown in the Bay Area since 1969. Requests to see them should be made by e-mail to: platzman@addisonfinearts.com.
The two series from 1951, Kahlo's in pastel, Rivera's in oil, fulfilled a commission from their friend Olga Campos to depict the emotions. Working separately, the two artists did so in almost abstract terms, reflecting their interest in Carl Jung's idea that certain forms archetypally encode primary emotions. Both artists' images have an expressionistic look, some, such as Kahlo's "Fear," reminiscent of the "psychoanalytic" drawings Jackson Pollock made while seeing a Jungian psychiatrist.

  November 19th, 2002 - Frida 's love letters go under the hammer

The love letters of Frida will be sold by Sotheby's in December. Most of the 36 intimate letters, documents and notes included in the archive were written to her husband Diego Rivera. The archive, dating from 1938-1953, is being offered as one lot on December 13 and is expected to sell for $200 000 to $300 000, Sotheby's said. Among the documents is a list of songs, both Mexican and American, that the famous couple used as inspiration to paint to, and possibly the last letter Kahlo ever wrote to Rivera. The archive was given in the late 1950s to a friend of the Rivera family who worked in their home cataloging Rivera's drawings and is being sold by a descendant. - Reuters

  November 18th, 2002 - Frida's photographs by Lucienne Bloch at Bentham Gallery in Seattle

"Lucienne Bloch was born in 1909 in Geneva, Switzerland and died three years ago in 1999. In all, Bloch's life stretched from one end of the 20th century to the other, during which she prolifically photographed the world around her. Moving to New York as a young woman, Bloch was a WPA artist during the Great Depression, and was assigned to work with the celebrated Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Rivera's work for the WPA was to have been a mural for Rockefeller Center, but the nearly completed work, featuring a portrait of Lenin, was destroyed before it was unveiled. The images Bloch secretly took with her Leica are the only artifact of this extraordinary mural. During this period, Bloch became very close with Rivera's wife Frida Kahlo, and took many of the best known images of Kahlo, Rivera, the couple, and their work." 
from November 26th to Jan. 4th
1216 First Ave. Seattle WA. 9810

  November 13th, 2002 - A new book about Frida

A new book about Frida was published on November 5, 2002 by Counterpoint Press.

It is "Beauty Is Convulsive: The Passion of Frida Kahlo" by Carole Maso
"This prose poem is typical Maso -- vigorous, daring, always original. She brings together parts of Kahlo's biography, her letters, medical documents, and her diaries with language that is often as erotic and colorful as Kahlo's paintings" (taken from www.alibris.com)
About the Author:
Carole Maso is the author of six novels: Ghost Dance, The Art Lover, AVA, Aureole, The American Woman in the Chinese Hat, and Defiance. The recipient of a Lannan Literary Fellowship for fiction, she is Professor of English at Brown University, and lives in Germantown, New York.

  October 22, 2002 - Gelman collection in Seattle up to Jan. 5, 2003

The announced exhibition "Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Twentieth-Century Mexican Art: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection" opened last 17th October at the Seattle Art Museum Special Exhibition Galleries.


October17th, 2002 - Frida has inspired two new theater plays

The internationally acclaimed Canadian theatre director Robert Lepage and the actress and writer Sophie Faucher have taken Kahlo's paintings and turned them into theatre. "La Casa Azul" opened on Friday 11th October at London's Lyric Hammersmith (London W6) and will stay there until October 26. Box office: 020-8741 2311.

"Recuerdo" is a play by San Diego writer Rosanne Ramos that explores the connection between Kahlo's experience of pain and one of her paintings, "The Suicide of Dorothy Hale. It will be running through Sunday 19th October at The Muse Theatre, Academy of Sound and Music, 3554 Kettner Blvd., Midtown, San Diego, CA.

For further news go to my "Theatre" page

  October 16th, 2002 - "A Walk in Frida's Footsteps" by Kimberly Maier

An exhibition entitled "A Walk in Frida's Footsteps," by Kimberly Maier, opened the 8th October at Gallery Henoch in NYC.
A California native now living on the east coast, Ms. Maier's Latin-influenced assemblaged draw inspiration from Frida Kahlo and the Mexican culture.
Ms. Maier recently had the opportunity to visit Kahlo's home in Mexico City and meet with artists who knew her. An article of her experiences will be featured in the Flatiron Magazine, NYC, Fall issue, of the same title as her art exhibit.
Contact: Gallery Henoch, 555 W. 25th St. NYC, NY 10001. Tel: 917.305.0003

  August 28th, 2002 - "Self-portrait very ugly" on view in New York

The variety and significance of Hispanic art are explored in "The Latin Century: Beyond the Border" a major exhibition on view August 18, 2002 through November 3, 2002 at the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, NY.
The approximately 100 works on view in The Latin Century reflect the wide diversity of Hispanic art during the 20th century. Various types of figurative art are featured-realistic, hyperrealistic, surrealistic and expressionistic. Some works draw on the tradition of grotesque or macabre art. Indigenous themes and fables inspire others. These works span the personal to the political and the earnest to the erotic. Among the works in the exhibition are Wifredo Lam's Femme-cheval, a 1957 oil on canvas, Frida Kahlo's Self-Portrait Very Ugly, a 1933 fresco on plaster board, Maria Izquierdo's drawing for Dream and Premonition, a 1947 pencil on tracing paper, Diego Rivera's Portrait of Corliss Lamont, an oil on canvas and several monumental works by Fernando Botero including Joachim Jean Aberbach and his Family, a 1970 oil on canvas and Los Amantes, a 1969 oil on canvas.

  August 21st, 2002 - Gelman collection in Seattle

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection on view Oct. 17, 2002 - Jan. 5, 2003 at SAM (Seattle Art Museum), downtown.

  August 19th, 2002 - "Frida"'s premieres

Salma Hayek's Frida Kahlo biopic "Frida" will be the Opening Film at the Venice Film Festival (Aug. 29-Sept. 8) and will have its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival (Sept. 5-14).
More info at:

  July 30th, 2002 - Dolores Olmedo, Patron of Rivera and Kahlo, Dies

"Dolores Olmedo, a successful Mexican businesswoman who built the largest collection of works by painter Diego Rivera, has died at the age of 93. Ms. Olmedo died of a heart attack on Saturday 27th July. A memorial service was held for her Sunday at the sprawling museum she founded in southern Mexico City to house 145 paintings by Mr. Rivera and 25 works by Mr. Rivera's artist wife, Frida Kahlo." (taken from The Dallas Morning News)

  May 10, 2002 - Diego and Frida in the play "The Murals of Rockefeller Center"

"In The Murals of Rockefeller Center the painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo share a railroad compartment with John Dillinger; George Gershwin does a Groucho Marx imitation to entertain Charles Lindbergh and President Coolidge; Pablo Picasso exchanges schoolboy insults with Henri Matisse. And the Rockefeller family is a slapstick circus.
Jim Niesen, who wrote the script and directed this production by the Irondale Ensemble Project, takes familiar historical figures and places them in fictional juxtaposition to create a lively illustration of an era. In this case, the period is the 1920's and 30's, when the Rockefellers were developing the tract of land in Midtown Manhattan that would eventually bear their name. And the story concerns the titular murals, painted by Rivera in the main lobby of the RCA Building and then destroyed in February 1934 by the Rockefellers, who had hired him, when he refused to remove a head of Lenin that appeared prominently in the painting." (taken from The New York Times)
Theater for the New City - April 16 - May 18, 2002
155 First Avenue (Between 9th and 10th Street)

  May 8, 2002 - The Gelman Collection in New York

The exhibition - "Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and 20th-Century Mexican Art: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection" shall be shown at El Museo del Barrio in New York until Sept. 8, 2002.

  April 29, 2002 - Frida, Trotsky and the Revolution in "In the Casa Azul", a novel by Australian writer Delahunt

Pursued from country to country by Stalin's GPU agents, Leon Trotsky finds refuge in Mexico City in 1937. There he encounters the fire and splendor of Frida who, with her husband Diego Rivera, welcomes Trotsky and his wife Natalia into their home, the Casa Azul.
Meaghan Delahunt uses the six-week affair between Frida and Trotsky as the jumping-off point for a compendium of brief, urgent scenes offering a guided tour of early communism, from leftist Mexico and 1930s Spain to Stalinist Moscow, with a side trip to Trotsky's Ukrainian childhood.
"Delahunt's ability to pare grand historical figures down to their all-too-human weaknesses is impressive, and the final glimpse of Stalin is itself worth the price of admission. ... In the end, this novel resembles nothing less than one of Rivera's famous murals human activity everywhere, each figure burning for attention." (from Publishers Weekly)

  April 20, 2002 - Frida at Chicano Park in San Diego

Frida was extremely proud of her Mexicanidad: she even changed the date of her birth to make it match the date of the Mexican revolution! We can suppose she would have been happy to see her image in the murals at the Chicano Park in San Diego, a work in progress celebrating Mexican history and the Chicanos community pride. One mural, realized in 1978 by Rupert Garcia, is titled "Muralistas Mexicanos" and it represents Frida's face together with the portraits of Diego Rivera, Jos» Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros (see the image taken from the site http://cemaweb.library.ucsb.edu/murals01.html). Another is really recent and it was painted, together with many others, for the 32nd anniversary of Chicano Park (20 April 2002). This time Frida Kahlo graces a panel devoted to Chicana perspective.
One of the mural artists sums up in a sentence the aim of the whole work in progress: "All the murals here are about struggle. About all the things that we as Mexicans, Mexicanos, Chicanos experience."

  April 17, 2002 - Two interesting novels inspired by Frida

Barbara Mujica's novel "Frida" was published in January 2001 in hardcover edition and more recently, in February 2002, in paperback edition (Penguin Putnam).
Narrated by Frida Kahlo's younger sister, Cristina, this haunting and powerful fictional account chronicles Kahlo's life, from a childhood shadowed by polio to the accident at eighteen that left her barren, from her marriage to larger-than-life muralist Diego Rivera through her tragic decline into alcoholism and drug abuse. Through it all, Cristina is her sister's intimate confidante - and then her bitter antagonist when she has a not-so-secret affair with Rivera.

Kate Braverman's novel "The Incantation of Frida K." is the most recent novel inspired by Frida's life and work, published by Seven Stories Press.
Kate Braverman is a native of Los Angeles. She was an activist in the '60s in Berkeley. A member of the Venice Poetry Workshop and professor of creative writing at California State University, she also taught creative writing at the UCLA Writer's Program. Braverman has published three novels - Lithium for Medea, Palm Latitudes, and Wonders of the West - four books of poetry, and two collections of short stories.
"Poet, short story writer and novelist Braverman delivers a wildly energetic, nearly hallucinatory account of Frida Kahlo . . . her work is commendably bold and strenuously imaginative, as befits her iconic subject." - Publishers Weekly

  March 26, 2002 - Ruben Amavizca's "Frida Kahlo" at the Frida Kahlo Theater in Los Angeles

This theater piece written by Ruben Amavizca, a playwriter and director from Mexico, has had an extensive life. This will be the 10 year anniversary of its inception. It will be played by "Grupo de Teatro Sinergia" from March 28 to June 3 at the Frida Kahlo Theater in Los Angeles. It has also been produced in several cities in California and Arizona.
March 28 - June 3
UNITY Arts Center, Frida Kahlo Theater
2234 West Fourth Street, Los Angeles

  March 22, 2002 - Frida Kahlo in the Core Ensemble's "Tres vidas"

Core Ensemble is presenting its new work "Tres Vidas," based on the lives of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, Argentine poet Alfonsina Storni and Salvadoran activist Rufina Amaya. "Tres Vidas" is a new chamber music theater work for a singing actress and a trio of musicians.
Friday March 22, at 8 p.m., in Alverno College's Pitman Theatre, 3431 S. 39th St, Milwaukee.
Sunday, April 14, in Kenan Auditorium at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington
For further info on this work:
see my Theater page

  February 25, 2002 - Emily Carr, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Frida Kahlo

The exhibition "Places of Their Own: Emily Carr, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Frida Kahlo" moved from Canada to the Washington National Museum of Women in the Art. Kahlo is revealed in unusual depth with 15 significant works, including rare, sometimes surreal still lifes.
National Museum of Women in the Art - Washington
February 8 - May 12, 2002

  February 25, 2002 - "Surrealism: Desire Unbound" now at MET in New York

In what the museum says is the first major exhibit of international surrealism in more than two decades, the show surveys more than 300 works, including paintings, sculptures, photos, films, poems, manuscripts and books by well-known artists such as Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Rene Magritte and Frida Kahlo, as well as less famous artists like Dora Maar and Lee Miller. Initially organized by the Tate Modern in London, the exhibit remains in New York, its final stop, from February 8 through May 12..
Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art - New York
February 8 - May 12, 2002

  January 29, 2002 - The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection on view again in Seattle

One of the largest and finest private collections of 20th-century Mexican art, amassed by two passionate art lovers, Jacques and Natasha Gelman, will be on view in Seattle Oct. 17, 2002, through Jan. 5, 2003. The exhibition, titled "Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Twentieth-Century Mexican Art: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection" was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, where it was on view May 14 1 Sept. 4, 2000. This collection of Mexican art includes many well-known icons such as Rivera's Calla Lily Vendor (1943), which was derived from one of his 1920s mural projects; Kahlo's Self-Portrait with Monkeys (1943), a still life blending traditional Mexican motifs and Surrealism (one of 10 Kahlos on view); and Siqueiros's Head of a Woman (1939), a bold, simplified portrait that reflects the innovative blending of abstraction and indigenous imagery. The Gelmans collected works by others such as María Izquierdo, José Clemente Orozco, Carlos Mérida and Rufino Tamayo. The exhibition also includes self-portraits of the artists, whom they knew as friends, and many portraits of themselves. It will be curated in Seattle by Tara Reddy, assistant curator of modern art. Prior to its presentation in Seattle, the exhibition travelled to the Dallas Museum of Art (Oct. 8, 2000- Jan. 28, 2001) and the Phoenix Art Museum (April 7-July 1, 2001).
Seattle Art Museum Special Exhibition Galleries
Oct. 17, 2002, through Jan. 5, 2003

  January 18, 2002 - Photograph exhibition in New York

Throckmorton Fine Art is proud to announce the exhibition "Diego y Frida: Photographs by Various Photographers". Through the lens of many of their friends and colleagues such as: Bernard Silberstein, Emmy Lou Packard, Nicholas Murray, Leo Matiz, Lucien Bloch, Florence Arquin, Tina Modotti, and Manuel & Lola Alvarez Bravo, we are invited to share in the twenty-five years of life and work together.
Throckmorton Fine Art - 153 East 61st Street - New York
January 3 - March 2, 2002

  January 15, 2002 - Frida's self-portrait at Malba's museum in Buenos Aires

There is a new museum in Buenos Aires dedicated to Latin American art. It is called Malba and it has been founded by Eduardo Costantini, a 55-year-old business tycoon - with no aid given by the government. The museum's curator, Agustin Arteaga, is a former director of Mexico City's Museum of Fine Arts. The museum houses works by 110 artists from 26 countries - from the Dutch Antilles to Venezuela. In the temporary exhibition, sculptures, installations and paintings address themes of diversity in race, culture, creed, sexuality and politics. On the second floor is Costantini's permanent collection, which has grown from what he describes as "one or two works that weren't of museum quality" in the 1980s to 220 today. The works include Manifestacion, a classic portrait of disgruntled workers painted in 1934 by Argentina's Antonio Berni; Las Viudas, by Colombia's Fernando Botero; and Frida Kahlo's 1942 self-portrait, "Auto Retrato con Chango y Loro". The Kahlo, acquired in 1996, cost Costantini $3.2m (£2.2m), a record price for any piece of Latin American art.