New exhibit of Frida Kahlo photos in New York

The Throckmorton Fine Art gallery is featuring images of the painter through some of the most famous masters of photography in the XX century.
"She was a champion at overcoming a life of personal tragedy and disappointment," expressed Throckmorton. (Photo: Héctor García (taken from throckmorton-nyc.com)
26/05/2015
17:15
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The Throckmorton Fine Art gallery is presenting starting Friday a selection of rare photographs taken to Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) by some of the most prominent artists of the lens of the XX century.

The exhibition, which will be open until September 12, shows 45 images of a catalog that contains a total of 135 portraits of the Mexican artist, one of the most influential creators of the past century.

The authors are some of the most prominent photographers of the first half of the twentieth century: Manuel and Lola Álvarez Bravo, Miguel Covarrubias, Héctor García, Gisèle Freund, Edward Weston, and the German father of the painter, Guillermo Kahlo, among many others.

Spencer Throckmorton, director of the gallery which leads his surname, stated that the first experience of Kahlo with photography was through his father, and that one of her first portraits was taken by him at the age of four.

Throckmorton said that “Frida Kahlo’s life and art has inspired the world for decades.  In many ways she was a champion at overcoming a life of personal tragedy and disappointment. Many of her paintings are self-portraits which enable us to see just how she used her talents to portray her experiences handling challenges that might have consumed those with less determination. Her ability to rise above so many obstacles has left an indelible mark, and is perhaps her greatest achievement.

“The photographers we have chosen to feature in our Frida Kahlo show each seem to have been expert at capturing Kahlo’s life, particularly the solace she found within the walls of the gardens at La Casa Azul.  We have loaned several of our photographs of Frida to The New York Botanical Garden GARDEN for their show, and the ones we are presenting in our gallery similarly express the respite Kahlo experienced in the safe and beautiful environs of La Casa Azul.”

Among the 20 acclaimed photographers whose images of Frida Kahlo are featured in the Throckmorton “Mirror Mirror….Frida Kahlo Photographs” show are five works by the great German-born photographer Gisele Freund (1908-2000) taken during a two year period beginning in 1950 when Freund was immersed in Mexican culture and spent a good deal of time at Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s home.

Freund won many honors including the French Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur in 1983. Her powerful images of Kahlo are a testament to Kahlo’s strength and endurance during incredibly trying times, they are among the last before her death in 1954.

In a new book, "FRIDA KAHLO The Gisele Freund Photographs," published by Abrams with texts by Kahlo’s biographer Gérard de Cortanze and art historian Lorraine Audric, there are 100 rare images of Kahlo and unpublished commentary by Freund, who came to know Kahlo and Rivera as a fiercely passionate and irascible couple.

Kahlo’s health was deteriorating at the time, and she was often in pain, largely a result of a tragic 1926 accident when a bus she was riding in collided with a tram, leaving the teenage Kahlo with a crushed spine and right leg, among many injuries.

Kahlo’s career was a result of her injuries, as she had previously planned on becoming a doctor. She endured countless surgeries throughout her life, spent much time in bed or in a wheelchair, and suffered debilitating periods of intense pain complicated by the addicting drugs she was given.

Her father and Mexican mother had raised her at La Casa Azul and her studio and gardens there were where she sought refuge and inspiration throughout her life, which ended before her 47 birthday.

One of the last pictures in the exhibit presents her at her funerals.

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