The work of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera is known around the world, but never before has the famous couple jointly staged an exhibition in Russia, like the one presented today in the Manezh room, in the heart of Moscow.
“The central theme of this exhibition is to show each artist as the artist he is, although there is a dialogue, although there is a contradiction at times, it is to show how each artist developed his art,” Adriana Jaramillo, director of communication from the Dolores Olmedo museum in Mexico, which houses the largest collection of Frida and Diego.
Two years after the great success of an exhibition on Frida Kahlo in St. Petersburg, the work of the famous Mexican painter returns to Russia, this time accompanied by the creations of her husband Diego Rivera under the title of “Viva la Vida.” Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Painting and graphic art of private collections and museums.
“It is the first time that the works of our collection are presented here in Moscow,” emphasizes Jaramillo.
“We are very excited that they can be shown together,” he adds, while recalling that two years ago the former capital of the tsars hosted for the first time a show dedicated to Frida, where people came to make long queues to access the site of exhibitions despite temperatures of “up to 22 below zero”.
The Muscovite exhibition, organized by the Russian cultural foundation The Link Of Times and the Fabergé Museum of St. Petersburg, is made up of more than 90 pieces that make a complete tour of the life and work of the famous Mexican couple.
Only the museum Dolores Olmedo participates with more than 40 works of Rivera and his “complete collection” of the works of Frida, composed of 26 pieces, to which we must add the pieces donated by collectors.
In the emblematic Manezh exhibition hall, a few meters from the Kremlin, the iconic artists whose work is considered Mexico’s national heritage are separated: Diego is shown on the right and Frida on the left.
However, in one of the rooms their destinies come together, just as they always did in real life, in which Frida and Diego got married, separated and remarried after a while.
One of the meeting points is a stand that shows Frida’s letters to Diego, written between 1940 and 1953, from the collection of the Swiss Anne-Marie Springer.
“I have 20 letters written by Frida to her husband and I have brought them all,” Anne-Marie said in a statement to Efe.
The next point of greater attention in the room is the painting “Victoria glorious”, donated by Rivera to the USSR, and which is exhibited for the first time after spending more than 60 years in the warehouses of a Russian museum.
This painting is not the only one that the artist gave to the country of the Soviets, where he was twice, says the curator of the exhibition, Katarina Lopátkina.
For the Muscovite exhibition also has another work by Rivera that the artist gave to the USSR during his first visit in 1927.
In this sense, Lopátkina stressed the importance of retrospective as a space, where the Russian public can meet for the first time works of the Mexican muralist, where they are reflected their Russian influences.
The organizers hope that the exhibition, which will last until March 12, will repeat the success of the exhibition two years ago, which had “more than 300,000 visitors, 45% of them women under 30 years.”
And it is that Frida, “with her complex biography and her artistic courage” is now “a star of the stars” in the art world, explains the curator of the exhibition.
On the other hand, the Mexican is popular in Russia and in the rest of the countries of the globe because of the empathic capacity of her work.
“I relate to her, if I have a broken heart, I interact with Frida, if I am a feminist, I interact with Frida, if I love animals, I interact with Frida, if I suffer from any illness, I interact with Frida”, summarizes the museum spokesperson Dolores Olmedo.