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A Huge Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Mexican Modernism Exhibition Is Coming to Australia in 2023

More than 150 works will display at the Art Gallery of South Australia, as part of an Aussie-exclusive exhibition and the most comprehensive exhibition of Mexican modernism ever seen in Australia.
By Sarah Ward
November 22, 2022
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By Sarah Ward
November 22, 2022
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2023 is set to be a great year for art lovers, especially if you're a fan of Frida Kahlo. In Sydney from January, a multi-sensory installation will let visitors immerse themselves in Kahlo's works; however, that's not the only way to bask in the Mexican artist's creative glories. Come winter, the Art Gallery of South Australia will also pay tribute to the iconic figure, her well-known spouse Diego Rivera and the entire Mexican modernism movement.

Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution will headline AGSA's 2023 program alongside another enormous and just-as-impressive exhibition: the already-announced Andy Warhol & Photography: A Social Media. That's three of the biggest names in 20th-century art, all gracing the Adelaide venue's walls and halls in the space of a few months, with the Mexican modernism exhibition running from Saturday, June 24–Sunday, September 17.

Frida Kahlo, born Mexico City 1907, died Mexico City 1954, Self-Portrait with Monkeys, 1943, oil on canvas, 81.5 x 63 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism, © Banco de México Rivera Kahlo Museums Trust/ARS. Copyright Agency, 2022

Visitors will be able to see more than 150 works during Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution, spanning everything from paintings and photographs to works on paper and period clothing, as drawn from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Two key aims: examining why Kahlo's work, and Kahlo herself, holds such enduring appeal; and placing Kahlo and Rivera's art in context with their contemporaries.

"Each generation brings a new lens through which to view the phenomenon that is Frida Kahlo. A 21st-century muse, Kahlo is today revered as a feminist and as a singular political and creative force. Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution speaks to the influence and ingenuity of art practice in Mexico and aims to recontextualise the foremost presence of Kahlo within our society today," said AGSA Director Rhana Devenport ONZM, announcing the exhibition.

Diego Rivera, born Guanajuanto, Mexico 1886, died Mexico City 1957, Sunflowers, 1943, oil on canvas, 90 x 130 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism, © Banco de México Rivera Kahlo Museums Trust/ARS. Copyright Agency, 2022.

"Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution is the most comprehensive exhibition of Mexican Modernism ever seen in Australia, from the unrivalled collection of Jacques and Natasha Gelman. Close friends of Kahlo and Rivera, the Gelmans were pioneering collectors who formed an outstanding collection of works representing Mexican modernism," explains Tansy Curtin, AGSA's Curator of International Art, Pre-1980s.

Martin Munkacsi, born Kolozsvar, Hungary (now Romania) 1896, died New York 1963, Frida and Diego, 1934, gelatin silver photograph, 35.6 x 27.9 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism.

Accordingly, while Kahlo, Rivera, and their art, connection, politics and influence all sit at the centre of this wide-ranging showcase, it'll also highlight pieces by Manuel and Lola Álvarez Bravo, Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Carlos Mérida, David Alfaro Siqueiros and more.

Focusing on the first half of the 20th century, this an Australian-exclusive exhibition, too — meaning that you'll have to go to Adelaide to see it — as well as most comprehensive exhibition of Mexican modernism that the country has ever seen, as Curtin calls out.

Nickolas Muray, born Szeged, Hungary 1892, died New York 1965, Frida with Red "Rebozo", 1939, Carbro print, 25 x 20.3 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism, © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives.

AGSA announced Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution as part of its full 2023 slate, which also includes the first-ever survey exhibition of Western Aranda artist Vincent Namatjira, which'll open in October during the venue's contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art celebration Tarnanthi Festival — and then tour to the National Gallery of Australia in 2024.

There's also the return of the Tarnanthi Art Fair and the $100,000 Ramsay Art Prize, the latter for artists under 40; ceramics exhibition Milton Moon: Crafting Modernism; Misty Mountain, Shining Moon, highlighting Japanese landscapes in art from the 16th century onwards; and Surrender & Catch: The Art of Brent Harris, focusing on the Aotearoa-born Australian artist.

Top image: Diego on my Mind, Frida Kahlo, born Mexico City 1907, died Mexico City 1954, 1943, oil on Masonite, 76 x 61 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism, © Banco de México Rivera Kahlo Museums Trust/ARS. Copyright Agency, 2022.

Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution will display at the Art Gallery of South Australia from Saturday, June 24–Sunday, September 17, 2023. For more information or to buy tickets, head to the AGSA website.

Top image: excerpt of Diego on my Mind, Frida Kahlo, born Mexico City 1907, died Mexico City 1954, 1943, oil on Masonite, 76 x 61 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Modernism, © Banco de México Rivera Kahlo Museums Trust/ARS. Copyright Agency, 2022.

Published on November 22, 2022 by Sarah Ward
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