Few artists have captured the public's imagination with the force of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo. During her lifetime, she was best known as the flamboyant wife of celebrated muralist Diego Rivera. Theirs was a tumultuous relationship: Rivera declared himself to be "unfit for fidelity." As if to assuage her pain, Kahlo recorded the vicissitudes of her marriage in paint. She also recorded the misery of her deteriorating health--the orthopedic corsets that she was forced to wear, the numerous spinal surgeries, the miscarriages and therapeutic abortions. The artist's sometimes harrowing imagery is mitigated by an intentional primitivism and small scale, as well as by her sardonic humor and extraordinary imagination.
In celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of Kahlo's birth, this major new monograph is published on the occasion of the 2007-08 traveling exhibition. It features the artist's most renowned work--the hauntingly seductive and often brutal self-portraits--as well as a selection of key portraits and still lifes; more than 100 color plates, from Kahlo's earliest works, made in 1926, to her last, in 1954; critical essays by Elizabeth Carpenter, Hayden Herrera and Victor Zamudio-Taylor; and a selection of photographs of Kahlo and Rivera by preeminent photographers of the period, including Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Gisele Freund, Tina Modotti and Nickolas Muray. The catalogue also contains snapshots from the artist's own photo albums of Kahlo with family and friends such as André Breton and Leon Trotsky--some of which have never been published, and several of which Kahlo inscribed with dedications, effaced with self-deprecating marks or kissed with a lipstick trace--plus an extensive illustrated timeline, selected bibliography, exhibition history and index.
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