Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and 20th Century Mexican Art: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, an extensive survey of the most influential and important artists and art movements of Mexico, will be on view at the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum from through April 27.
A blue-chip ensemble, the Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art was amassed over 40 years and is one of the five finest and most significant private collections in the world; as well as the largest of Mexican art from the past century. It comprises some of the most recognized masterpieces by Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, David Álfaro Siqueiros, José Clemente Orozco, Rufino Tamayo, María Izquierdo, Gunther Gerzso, Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Juan Soriano, Carlos Mérida, Leonora Carrington, and Francisco Toledo, among many others.
This exhibition will provide the public the unique opportunity to view the most striking feature in this collection—an extraordinary ensemble of 15 Frida Kahlo pieces, which represents the largest grouping of her work that can be seen outside of Mexico. It's a rarity to have Kahlo's work on display in the Midwest; viewers will have a chance to experience Kahlo's Self–Portrait with Monkeys (1943), a still life blending Surrealism and traditional motifs, as well as her Self-Portrait with Red and Gold Dress (1941) and stunning Diego on My Mind (1943).
Kahlo first came into contact with her future husband, the famous Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, while in high school at the National Preparatory School in Mexico City, where Rivera was commissioned to paint a mural in the school's auditorium. Rivera is revered as one of Mexico's greatest artists. His painting Calla Lily Vendor (1943) is a well-known icon that will be presented in this exhibition, as well as Rivera's Sunflowers (1943) and his compelling Portrait of Natasha Gelman (1943).
Cesáreo Moreno, Visual Arts Director at the MFACM, states, 'The Gelman Collection is without any doubt the most significant private collection of twentieth century Mexican art in the world. The list of artists and the works of art in this collection read like a textbook for Post-Mexican Revolution art history. Many visitors coming specifically to see the Frida Kahlo paintings will be absolutely amazed by the rest of the masterpieces on display in our galleries.'
Jacques Gelman was born in Russia in 1909 and founded film distribution companies in France and Mexico, making his fortune producing movies starring the popular comic, Mario Moreno, also known as Cantinflas. In 1941, he married Natasha Zahalka, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, and they settled in Mexico City. It was there that they began to assemble extraordinary collections of European and Mexican art.
This exhibition is the most accurate portrait of the wide range of artistic spectra and cultural strengths that influenced the development of Mexican modernism during the 20th Century— from early experiences with cubism, surrealism, and post-revolutionary efforts to create an indigenous Mexican aesthetic to the various styles and techniques of abstraction and realism from the second World War.
Due to the magnitude of this exhibition, it will be a ticketed event. Tickets may be purchased through Ticketmaster, by calling (312) 559-1212 or online at www.ticketmaster.com . Tickets are $7 General, $3 Students/Seniors, and FREE for children 12 and under and MFACM members.
The MFACM is located at 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago, (312) 738-1503, www.mfacmchicago.org .