October 17, 2021

Lucky Life

Arts Fanatics

JUF Information | A revealing portrait of Frida Kahlo

3 min read

Frida Kahlo: Timeless&#13
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, a lavish show about the fabled Mexican artist- who has come to be some thing of a cult determine in recent a long time-opened in June and will run by way of Sept. 6 at the Cleve Carney Museum of Artwork at the School of DuPage in Glen Ellyn. This rare celebration (just a 27-mile drive west of downtown Chicago) is not to be missed. 

In addition to showcasing 26 of the artist’s amazing paintings, this superbly built exhibit examines the numerous sides of Kahlo’s life (1907-1954). It includes displays of richly revealing classic pictures (some by her photographer father), specific timelines, and a suggestion of the elegance of her adored dwelling and garden, La Casa Azul (The Blue Property), in Mexico Town.  

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The show features a home comprehensive of meticulously crafted replicas of the elaborate classic Mexican outfits that became a single of the artist’s emblems. Also displayed are replicas of the painted leather-based and plaster orthotic braces she wore in the course of a lifestyle of intense discomfort- including 30 surgeries- the final result of a harrowing, in close proximity to-fatal bus accident when she was 18. A bout of polio in childhood, as nicely as two devastating miscarriages, left added bodily and psychological scars. A replica of the lovely 4-poster bed in which Kahlo invested many years recuperating also is on display onto such a mattress her mothers and fathers connected an easel, enabling her to escape the agonies of a broken system by concentrating on portray.  

Of program, it is those paintings and their impressive imagery that are of the essence below. And although a very good number of the will work on display screen are acquainted, it is the quite a few rarely noticed is effective that are a notably eye-opening address. Amid them are a painting of regular passengers on a bus, the Botticelli-like Portrait of Alicia Galant, and the hybrid person-tree in Portrait of Luther Burbank, a likeness of the renowned horticulturalist. Invariably, they advise the artist’s amazing creativeness and daring radiance, and her nod to magical realism. 

The functions are on loan from the Dolores Olmeda Museum in Mexico Town. Olmeda, a wealthy Mexican businesswoman and artwork collector, was a buddy and lover of Diego Rivera, the famous Jewish muralist and larger-than-existence determine who was Kahlo’s fantastic love and heartbreak- and the person she married, divorced, and remarried. (Together the way, both artists engaged in lots of affairs, including Kahlo’s with Jewish revolutionary Leon Trotsky). Olmeda was no lover of Kahlo’s, but when Rivera was near death, he sold Olmeda many of her paintings to protect her legacy with a museum.   

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Whilst Kahlo’s mom was a strict Catholic of mixed Spanish and Indian ancestry, her father was a European immigrant who some say was a Lutheran German- but Kahlo insisted was of Jewish origin. 

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Justin Witte, the exhibit’s art director and curator, points out: “Although there is no definitive proof, Frida Kahlo did sustain that her father was of Hungarian Jewish descent. Most likely this is why she was so outspoken in aid of Jewish folks and triggers. This grew to become evident when she and Diego were being set up in a Detroit hotel [which] had an antisemitic policy… and Frida refused to keep there except if they improved that policy. She also famously brought up the subject matter of Henry Ford’s antisemitism at a supper hosted by Ford. So, I do believe Frida recognized as having Jewish heritage.” 

For tickets and supplemental information and facts to “Frida Kahlo: Timeless,” take a look at: Frida2021.org or cellular phone (630) 942-4000.  

Hedy Weiss, a longtime Chicago arts critic, was the Theater and Dance Critic for the Chicago Sun-Times from 1984-2018 she at the moment writes for WTTW’s web site and contributes to the Chicago Tonight program.   &#13
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