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"Frida Kahlo: POSE" at the Rose Art Museum - Brandeis University, MA (US)

25 June 2021 | 19 December 2021

Frida Kahlo: POSE, shows paintings, works on paper, ephemera, rare film footage, and photographs spanning Frida Kahlo's entire life. Organized in five overlapping sections - Posing; Composing; Exposing; Queering; and Self-Fashioning - the show highlights the profound and creative interplay between photography, fashion, art, and the construction of identities within Kahlo's multidimensional oeuvre.

"Posing for photographs, not painting, was Frida Kahlo's first form of self-expression. Her doting father, Wilhelm (Guillermo) Kahlo, was her first photographer. As soon as she could sit up, he cultivated her propensity to perform in front of the camera," explained Gannit Ankori and Circe Henestrosa, the show's curators.

Kahlo's mesmerizing, photogenic allure continued to impress a host of exceptional photographers. Featuring portraits by Peter Juley, Imogene Cunningham, Lola Álvarez Bravo, Nickolas Muray, Gisèle Freund, and others, the exhibition explores Kahlo's mode of posing for photographs, which strongly impacted her painting. Her intense, unflinching gaze and the slight turn of her head appear in photographs and self-portraits alike. Furthermore, the meticulous care with which she fashioned her sartorial 'look' parallels the fastidious way she composed her paintings during the prime of her life. Over eighty photographs are on view in the exhibition, displayed in dialogue with Kahlo's paintings, drawings, and prints.

Special sections within the exhibition are devoted to Kahlo's identity as an artist, documenting how she composed her paintings. The show also includes a virtual reconstruction of her first solo exhibition at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York in November of 1938.

Activating words and images articulated by Kahlo, the show highlights her deliberate acts of queering and self-fashioning. Kahlo said: "I have broken many social norms." And "I have the mustache and in general the face of the opposite sex." These features are displayed in her photographs, paintings, and diary drawings.

Today, sixty-seven years after the artist's death, her pathbreaking poetics of identity inspire artists, musicians, students, people with disabilities, people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, and ever-expanding audiences. Artworks from the Rose Art Museum's permanent collection are on view in close proximity to and in dialogue with Frida Kahlo: POSE, reflecting the influence of this visionary and transgressive artist, who was way ahead of her time.

(from: Broadway World Boston)

Frida Kahlo: POSE is co-curated by Dr. Gannit Ankori, Henry and Lois Foster Director and Chief Curator at the RoseArt Museum, and Circe Henestrosa, Mexican Fashion Scholar and Curator, and designed by Isometric Studio, Brooklyn, New York.