Art Gallery of New South Wales: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

I cannot believe that tomorrow I leave for the Open Palace Programme in the United Kingdom! I had to distract myself today to stop the excitement building to dangerous levels. Mum came down to visit so we headed off to the Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera exhibition currently on at the Art Gallery of New South Wales. I love the work of Kahlo and seeing her house in Mexico City was one of the many highlights of that trip.

Frida Kahlo Cactus.JPG

I’ll start by saying the works on display are part of the Jacques and Natasha Gelman private collection of Mexican art. There is a thematic panel that explains who they were and why they had the art in their collection. In summary, they moved from Europe to Mexico, became Mexican citizens, and supported Mexican culture by, for example, purchasing art. What’s on display is a mix of paintings and photographs. Rooms filled with paintings are connected by narrow walkways that showcase the photographs. The walkways acted almost as a funnel filling very quickly with people and creating a lot of congestion.

We didn’t spend too much time looking at the photographs for this reason. I could see that some were in colour and others in black and white so I definitely made sure I had a good look at the ones in colour. Although each individual photograph only had a small caption, they were introduced by a thematic panel. In my opinion, this provided plenty of information. The paintings, on the other hand, were sometimes accompanied by a more comprehensive label. The labels were at eye-level (thank goodness). I actually took the time to read all of them which is rare for me in an art gallery.


What I really loved about the exhibition was the use of colour on the walls. Everything about Mexico says colourful so it was great to see some beautifully coloured feature walls. These were contrasted by light grey ones. It was a great balance meaning the space was neither boring nor intensely colourful.

My favourite object/piece in the exhibition is a tie between El abrazo de amor del Universo (The Loving Embrace of the Universe) and Self Portrait with Monkeys. The first is such a beautiful piece including Mexican representations of day and night, and life and death. The latter was just a really cool painting and I am hoping to read more about it! IMG_6886

It is quite a small exhibition so we only spent around forty-five minutes inside. I don’t feel as though I could have been in there for longer. Sometimes I get exhibition-guilt. That is, leaving an exhibition soon after entering and for some reason feeling very guilty. Sometimes, however, things such as overcrowding can just be unpleasant and the thought of spending hours looking around makes me feel a little faint.

Overall, I am really glad to have seen it before leaving. I know as soon as I get back I’ll have to hit the ground running and won’t have a lot of spare time. As for now, my next post will be direct from the UK! I cannot wait to write about the programme!!!


One thought on “Art Gallery of New South Wales: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

  1. Best wishes for your opportunity in the UK. I went to the same exhibition last weekend and commented on Instagram @linakerstreet. In my time slot everyone lined up in procession and queued around the space. It was so strange. I bucked the system and looked over people’s shoulders because it wasn’t the way I wanted to view such a vibrant and colourful exhibition.

    Liked by 1 person

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