“Frida Kahlo,” curated by Hayden Herrera and Elizabeth Carpenter. Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. Through Jan. 20. Scheduled tour: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA, February 20 – May 18; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, June 14 – September 28, 2008.
In The New Yorker, Peter Schjeldahl reports that Kahlo’s paintings hold up to the legend that surrounds her: “Kahlo’s ascension, since the late nineteen-seventies, to feminist sainthood is ineluctable, though a mite strained. (Kahlo struggled not in common cause with women but, single-handedly, for herself.) And her pansexual charisma, shadowed by tales of ghastly physical and emotional suffering, makes her an avatar of liberty and guts. However, Kahlo’s eminence wobbles unless her work holds up. A retrospective at the Walker Art Center, in Minneapolis, proves that it does, and then some….The meaning of Kahlo’s art comes across in reproductions, but not its full dynamic, which involves brooding subtleties of surface and color. The reproduced images are shiny and bright. The paintings are matte and grayish, drinking and withholding light. (Their display calls for intense illumination—that of the Mexican sun, say. They should not be hung on white walls, as they are at the Walker, where the contrast makes them look like holes in a snowbank.) The lovely, highly varied, blushing colors (even Kahlo’s browns and greens blush) don’t radiate.” Read more.
Check out Jessica Mador’s audio story on Minnesota Public Radio.