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Detroit Institute of Arts

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit
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Excerpt from Detroit Institute of Arts:

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo were an explosive couple. He carried a pistol. She carried a flask. He romanticized Detroit. She rejected it. But what they shared was a belief in communism, a thirst for tequila and a passion for each other. Discover how they left their mark on Detroit. And how Detroit left its mark on their art. Exclusively on view at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit brings together nearly 70 works of art that depict the evolution of these two extraordinary artists’ careers, including eight of Rivera’s epic preparatory drawings for the Detroit Industry murals and 23 pieces by Kahlo, whose work has never before been shown at the DIA. Photography is not permitted in the special exhibition galleries.


Exhibition Catalogue:

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit
Mark Rosenthal With contributions by John Dean, Cathy Selvius DeRoo, Linda Downs, Christopher Foster, Salomon Grimberg, Jerry Herron, Juan Rafael Coronel Rivera, and Nancy Sojka

Excerpt from Yale University Press:
   
From April 1932 through March 1933, Diego Rivera (1886–1957) and Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) spent a dramatic and pivotal sojourn in Detroit. Against the backdrop of the Great Depression and amid labor protests in the city, Rivera created his Detroit Industry murals, one of the most important and accomplished works of art made in the United States in the 20th century, for the Detroit Institute of Arts. Kahlo, meanwhile, developed her own artistic identity almost unnoticed, emerging with an oeuvre of extraordinarily expressive work.

For this highly anticipated catalogue, Mark Rosenthal and a team of scholars have written essays that examine the artists, the city of Detroit in this period, and the commissioning of the murals by Edsel Ford, the patron, and William Valentiner, then director of the Detroit Institute. Rivera’s cartoons for the murals, which have not been exhibited in decades, are highlighted here along with new archival research conducted by Rivera’s grandson, Juan Rafael Coronel Rivera. Featuring more than 100 color illustrations of works by both artists, this book presents Detroit as a profoundly important place for the artistic development of Rivera and Kahlo.

Mark Rosenthal is adjunct curator of contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Arts.


Selected Exhibition Reviews:

Rivera, Kahlo exhibit mirrors spirit of DIA, Detroit by Michael Hodges and Louis Aguilar, March 17, 2015, The Detroit News

Art and Design Review: Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit, by Roberta Smith, April 3, 2015, The New York Times

Arts, Review of ‘Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit’ at the Detroit Institute of Arts, by Tom L. Freudenheim, April 7, 2015, The Wall Street Journal


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Frida Kahlo, Mexican, (1907-1958)
b. July 6, 1907, Mexico City
d. 1958


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