Frida Kahlo / Masterpieces from Museo Dolores
Jul 7 – Nov 4, 2018 / MNG

Frida Kahlo

A retrospective of Frida Kahlo’s life and work is currently on display in the Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest. Over 30 paintings are on loan from the Museo Dolores Olmedo in Mexico City and from private Mexican collectors. The exhibition features the artist’s self-portraits, and includes the Portrait of Alicia Galant, signed in 1927 by the artist as her “very first canvas,” as well as symbolic paintings and portraits inspired by the events in her life, drawings, and photographs of the artist taken by friends and lovers.

 

Frida Kahlo

At the age of 6, Kahlo was stricken with polio, and at 18 was in a bus accident, injuring her pelvis, spine, and one of her legs, leaving her bedridden for weeks and further handicapped for the rest of her life. She turned to painting as a means of therapy and self-expression; in her early years, she spent much time alone and became the “subject [she knew] best”, creating many self-portraits.

 

Frida Kahlo

The curator of the exhibition, Adriána Lantos, stated that the dynamic pieces have been divided into five sections, starting with self portraits and symbolic paintings signifying her tragic adolescence, continuing into fantastical imagery referencing Mexican nature and tradition, through to works related to her passionate and tumultuous relationship with mural artist, Diego Rivera.  Kahlo began transforming her pain into symbolism and dreamscapes, and within the course of her work created an identity for herself.  She was openly bisexual and became an early symbol for contemporary feminist movements because of her depictions of taboo subjects. She expressed herself in art and in life through her sexuality and her dismissal of feminine beauty standards.

 

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo has become a pop culture icon; fans have used her image from the LGBTQ movement to wearing her face on clothing and accessories, as the British Prime Minister Theresa May did during a speech not long ago. After the death of an artist, there comes a tendency for many to break apart the artists’ story and try to fit a piece of it into a present day framework.  May proves that one can enhance their personal rhetoric by removing the image of an artist entirely from who they were and what they originally represented.

Not long after the start of the exhibition in Budapest, an article was published in the Hungarian newspaper Magyar Idok claiming the exhibition contains communist propaganda with the headline ‘This is the way communism is promoted using state money.’ This article parallels recent campaigns and policies against institutions that oppose Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s agenda, policies which include a ban on Gender Studies classes in universities nationwide.

 

Frida Kahlo

It is no secret that Kahlo’s affiliation with the Communist party of Mexico is an element of her arduous story. She had written in her diary and given visual testimony to the Soviet revolution, and hung images of Mao and Marx over her bed, according to a biography published by Mexico’s Museo Frida Kahlo. The article in Magyar Idok also references Kahlo’s relationship with Leon Trotsky, the Russian revolutionary who was a prominent figure in the Bolshevik revolution. After openly opposing Stalin’s policies, Trotsky was exiled to Mexico and taken in by Kahlo, and the two entered into a brief affair. Communist beliefs or not, Kahlo has shown through her works that her interests lie in the representation of Mexican culture and against its colonial appropriation through motifs, style, and political representation of a modern Mexico, as seen in Self-Portrait on the Border Between Mexico and the United States.

 

Frida Kahlo / Self-Portrait on the Border Between Mexico and the United States

Orban recently said in a speech, “An era is determined by cultural trends, collective beliefs and social customs. This is now the task we are faced with: we must embed the political system in a cultural era.” As he stated, art certainly does determine an era, which is why one party should not censor artworks, nor use censoring as a means of advancing a political agenda – this being the very definition of propaganda.  What matters is the ability to have access to all kinds of art, and in Kahlo’s case, to learn of her life experiences as they are represented through her artwork, to recognize what she has done for female empowerment, and to remember her as one of the most prominent artists of the twentieth century.

 

Frida Kahlo / Masterpieces from Museo Dolores
July 7 – November 4, 2018 / MNG, Hungarian National Gallery
Please visit the exhibition page >

Two Years into Ukraine
ARTPIL / Prescription .147
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers. Dead...
+
Federica Patera & Andrea Sbra Perego
A Double Interview
With our work, we aim to shape the creative process: what is represented is not the content of the...
+
Sony World Photography Awards 2024
Winners & Finalists Announced
This diverse selection of photographs in this annual award is a window to the world, revealing fascinating points of...
+
30 Under 30 Women Photographers / 2024
Selections Announced
Artpil proudly announces the 30 Under 30 Women Photographers 2024. For its 15th Edition, this annual selection continues to...
+
BAM Winter/Spring 2024
Jan 15 – Jun 9, 2024
Experience the power of artistic community with BAM’s program. As bands play, dancers whirl, voices raise, and audience members...
+
WAR, and the Declaration of Human Rights
75 year Anniversary
Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family...
+
Nan Goldin: This Will Not End Well
Various Engagements / 2023–2026
Nan Goldin is known not only for her talent and visionary career, but also for her uncompromising social commitment....
+
74th Berlin International Film Festival
February 15–25, 2024
The Berlinale is a place for dialogue and the exchanging of ideas. The international situation once again prompts us...
+
Two Years into Ukraine
ARTPIL / Prescription .147
More terrible is love in Kyiv than magnificent Venetian passions. Butterflies fly light and maculate into bright tapers.
+
Federica Patera & Andrea Sbra Perego
A Double Interview
With our work, we aim to shape the creative process: what is represented is not the content of the...
+
Sony World Photography Awards 2024
Winners & Finalists Announced
This diverse selection of photographs in this annual award is a window to the world, revealing fascinating points of...
+
30 Under 30 Women Photographers / 2024
Selections Announced
For its 15th Edition, Artpil proudly announces the 30 Under 30 Women Photographers for 2024.
+
BAM Winter/Spring 2024
Jan 15 – Jun 9, 2024
Experience the power of artistic community with BAM’s program. As bands play, dancers whirl, voices raise, and audience members...
+
WAR, and the Declaration of Human Rights
75 year Anniversary
Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family...
+
Nan Goldin: This Will Not End Well
Various Engagements / 2023–2026
Nan Goldin is known not only for her talent and visionary career, but also for her uncompromising social commitment....
+
74th Berlin International Film Festival
February 15–25, 2024
The Berlinale is a place for dialogue and the exchanging of ideas. The international situation once again prompts us...
+
  • Maggie Lee: Magazine
    Feb 10 – May 20, 2024
    Kunsthalle Zürich
    Zürich, Switzerland

    The exhibition Magazine was born out of the artist’s long-held desire to publish her own magazine – a very personal magazine that would nonetheless circulate further than just her own circle of friends. Maggie Lee’s passion for this medium of distribution was inspired by her work in copy stores, and above all by creating zines since her teenage years in New Jersey. There is a special appeal to the creative self-realisation in self-publishing (more…)

  • Mikko Takkunen: Hong Kong
    Publication
    Kehrer Verlag
    International

    With his first photobook Hong Kong, The New York Times’ photo editor Mikko Takkunen captured one of the world’s greatest metropolises during a time of political uncertainty and the pandemic. As the city was still recovering from the aftermath of the anti-government protests of 2019, Takkunen began to concentrate on the purity of seeing and capturing the world anew. (more…)

  • Leda Papaconstantinou: Time In My Hands. A Retrospective
    Dec 14, 2023 – Apr 21, 2024
    EMST
    Athens, Greece

    Time in my hands represents the first ever major retrospective exhibition for Leda Papaconstantinou (b. 1945), one of the most important artists in the history of contemporary art in Greece. For over almost five decades, Papaconstantinou developed a diverse body of work that took on a range of forms – performance, sculpture, video, site-specific installations, painting, etc. – in order to explore issues of gender, sexuality, collective and personal memory, history, politics and ecology, centred always on the body. (more…)

  • Wong Chung-Wai: Hong Kong After Hong Kong
    Publication
    Gost
    International

    In May 2021, Wong Chung-Wai left Hong Kong with his family to begin a new life in the UK. During the six months prior to their departure he had wandered the city alone using his camera to create an imprint of those things he could not take with him. The photographs in Hong Kong After Hong Kong are Chung-Wai’s visual lament for the city. They show the city’s contradictions – the co-existence of urban infrastructure and nature, the ancient and contemporary (more…)