The event will only be shown at the DIA, and depicts the one year timeframe the two artists spent in Detroit. Rivera was here painting the Detroit Industry murals, while Frida was here experiencing great despair while exploring the emergence of her new style as an artist.
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38 works by Rivera will be on display, accompanied by 26 pieces of art created by Kahlo, including many she painted while she was in Detroit.
The couple’s tumultuous time did not end or begin with Detroit- but the events that unfolded for Kahlo while she was here impacted her to the depths of her soul- forcing her to confront deep issues that revealed themselves within her work from this time. Her baby died here, on July 4- at the Henry Ford Hospital. She despised Detroit for the things it did to her- how it made her feel, and she despised Rivera for bringing her and dumping her here. For although he was physically in the city with her- he was not present in their life together.
He was busy soaking in attention and working on the highly revered- and at the time- extraordinarily controversial, murals. Rivera focused on natural resources, manufacturing and workers. He referenced the Mexican culture, and its place in the modern world.
Kahlo established herself as an important artist. Her style is unmistakable and her approach, unparalleled. She pushed boundaries and wasn’t scared to dig deep within her core to unlock themes others may have sidestepped.
I have always wondered about their time here- especially Kahlo’s. While reading a book about Kahlo's life + work, I discovered she lost her baby, at the same hospital in Detroit I was born at. Since then- I have never forgotten this about that hospital, and how one place can be heaven or hell, depending upon who you are.
Detroit Institute of Arts
Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit
March 15- July 12, 2015