Monday, September 07, 2015

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit (Detroit Institute of Arts, 2015) is packed with good stuff. I love it! The Detroit Industry murals, check, along with other Detroit works by both artists, plus from during their San Francisco stay -- (their place of work there was located at 716 Montgomery Street); New York City; and, first and last, Mexico. Their Detroit stay ran from April 1932 to March 1933, though in September of 1932, Frida hurried off to Coyoacán, Mexico, to be with her dying mother; she returned late in October. While in Detroit, Diego focused on his large-scale murals; Frida completed several important smaller-scale works of her own.   
One of the stellar works created by Frida Kahlo while in Detroit in 1932 is shown here: Autorretrato en la frontera entre México y los Estados Unidos / Self-Portrait on the Border of Mexico and The United States. Between pages 93 and 96 of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit, there is an almost full-size repro (the actual dimensions are given as 12.5" x 13.75" / 31.8 x 34.9  cm.). 
Also included in Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are several telegrams and letters from the period. One from Frida to Guillermo Kahlo, her father (who was German-born) in Mexico, is dated November 21, 1930, when she was living in San Francisco. In it she describes how happy she is to have received a letter from him. "The only thing I didn't like is that you told me that you're just as quick-tempered as always, but since I'm the same way, I understand you very well and I know that it's very hard to control yourself; anyway, try your best at least for mama, who is so good to you . . ."  (page 124). What a character. And what a treasure, their art, for Mexico, Detroit, San Francisco and the world. 

Happy Labor Day in the USA! 

Today's Rune: Breakthrough. 


the walking man said...

Frida and Diego--in Detroit, a love story writ large. Two hot tempered personalities even in their travels could not occupy the same suite or even the same hotels.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I was woefully unaware of the couple's Detroit sojourn. I obviously need to educate myself better!

Charles Gramlich said...

I should read a biography about her