Arts & Entertainment

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Left: Frida Kahlo, Self-portait with monkeys, 1943. Right: Photographer unknown, Frida and Diego with Fulang Chung, 1937.

Arguably the most anticipated exhibition to hit Sydney of late, Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection does not disappoint.

Including over 30 artworks, this exhibition marks the first time that works from either of these significant 20th Century artists have been exhibited in Sydney. It is also the most extensive collection of their work to visit Australia.

AGNSW curator Nicholas Chambers spoke with City Hub ahead of the exhibition opening in June.

“On the one hand we wanted there to be a kind of narrative, biographical element to the show, so we have included around 50 photographs displayed in quite a conventional chronological fashion and moved through important moments in their life and also their careers,” he said.

“With the artworks though…[as] there are many iconic works by both artists, we wanted to create this series of one-to-one experiences with them. So as you move through you’ll see that certain works are isolated on the wall or by themselves so you can have this moment, this dialogue, just between a visitor and a single artwork.”

The exhibition is of course rather Frida-heavy, and the narrative journey explored demonstrates Kahlo’s rise to prominence.

“I think she is a figure that interestingly continues to resonate, especially with younger audiences… self portraiture was a major part of her painting project and this idea of imaging herself and thinking about her own identity and the way that’s constructed, I think [that it] has really interesting ramifications today in the world of social media,” Chambers mused.

With the help of the Gelman collection, AGNSW have pulled together an exciting array of original artworks and artefacts to tell the story of one of the art world’s most volatile and influential couples in an enriching way.

Don’t forget to book your timed tickets online to avoid disappointment. (AM)

Until Oct 9. Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery Road, The Domain, Sydney. $14-$18. Tickets & info:

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