Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and 20th-century Mexican art: the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection at El Museo del Barrio

New York welcomes key Kahlo works

This exhibition (until 8 September) should be a crowd-puller with its display of 10 Kahlo works and 8 paintings by Rivera oils coinciding with the pre-release hype for the new film “Frida”, which focuses on the artists’ lives and stars Salma Hayek and Antonio Banderas. It is drawn from a collection begun by the European emigrée and film mogul Jacques Gelman and his Czech wife Natasha, who donated their collection of European paintings to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and established the Vergel Foundation to oversee and extend their collection of Mexican art after their deaths. This exhibition was organised by Robert Littman, the director of the foundation, in cooperation with the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego and the Dallas Museum of Art. Highlights include self-portraits by Kahlo (above, “Self-portrait with monkeys”, 1943) and her disconcerting “Diego on my mind”, painted in the same year.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 126 June 2002