• 8 May 2018

From April 28th to August 20th 2018, the Centre Pompidou of Metz invites you to explore couples of avant-garde creators with the exhibition entitled “Modern Couples.” Among the presented couples there are two one-of-a-kind personalities: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Frida Kahlo by Marko 93

Frida Kahlo, Ourcq Street, Paris, by Marko 93 © Jeanne Menjoulet

An interdisciplinary and collaborative exhibition

The exhibition “Modern Couples” is organized in collaboration with the London Barbican Centre. The idea is to put in the spotlight the diversity of the couples’ creativity which shaped the Avant-Garde 20th century. Among them are presented Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar, Robert and Sonia Delaunay or Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz. As the result, it aims at reflecting on the creative process that comes out of romances that are often passionate but also complex. The exhibition’s theme is also a way to gather multiple means of expression. Poetry, sculpture, cinema, architecture, music, dance, a wide range of Arts are represented. To that end, the museum put together more than 150 Artworks coming from the Centre Pompidou, the Musée national d’Art moderne but also other major international collections.

The Mexican legend of the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera couple

Photographs from their time show two personalities who seem radically different. Frida Kahlo is young and slim. Diego Rivera, on the other hand, is large and significantly older. However, they both share the same nationalist feeling as well as the same passion for free and flamboyant colors. They met in 1927 when Diego Rivera was already a renowned painter for his monumental murals. In fact, he was the founder of the “Mexican Muralism” movement. Frida Kahlo was 20 by then and suffered from severe health issues which forced her to paint from her bed. The couple got married din 1929. Later on, they experienced multiple difficulties from sickness to infidelity. After a divorce in 1938, they decided to get married again in 1940 under the condition that Diego Rivera would not cheat on Frida Kahlo anymore.

Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Anson Goodyear

Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Anson Goodyear

From the legend to the myth

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera built a Mexican legend that mixes religion, revolutionary fight, people misery, suffering and spirituality. Frida Kahlo’s multiple portraits show a constantly renewing reflection on her physical suffering. As a result, both Artists shared a common vision of people and revolutionary commitment. At the same time, they both highlight a certain mysticism that would contribute to build their legend. Frida Kahlo transcended suffering to explore spirituality and share it with the world. The last years of her life were particularly hurting. In her diary she explained “I always want to commit suicide. Only Diego can prevent me from doing it. Because I imagine he would miss me.” As a result, when she was about to day, she refused to be buried in a coffin. “Even in a coffin, I no longer want to lay down” she then said.

The Pan American Unity mural by Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera, The Pan American Unity, Mural, 1940 © Joaquín Martínez


Read our article about the presence of Scarlett Johansson at the New York Frieze Art Fair here.

Source: Beaux-Arts Magazine