Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray

01/28/2012 - 06/03/2012

This exhibition presents an intimate look at Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist, through the photographic lens of her long time lover and friend, Nickolas Muray. Well known for the bright colors, dynamic symbolism, and indigenous imagery employed in her art, almost half of Kahlo’s works were self portraits, which were often unflinching portrayals of the physically and psychologically painful experiences that shaped her life. This exhibition includes an extensive array of portraits of Frida Kahlo, not painted by the artist herself, but as they were captured by Nickolas Muray, an intimate friend with whom she shared a close friendship.

During his long career, Nickolas Muray photographed many important people from the political, artistic, and social arenas and his work was regularly featured in Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, McCall’s and the Ladies Home Journal. Born in Hungary, Muray left Europe in 1913 and arrived in New York that same year. The corpus of his portraits is extensive, comprising over 10,000 portraits. Muray’s portraits of Frida Kahlo are among the most iconic images of the artist that are not self-portraits. These portraits of Kahlo have made their way into a variety of media, popular culture, and are integral to the world’s understanding of who Frida Kahlo was as an individual behind her artwork.

Approximately fifty color and black-and-white photographic portraits taken of Frida Kahlo comprise this exhibition. The photographs, dating from 1937 to 1941, explore Muray’s unique perspective; in the 1930s and 1940s he was Frida Kahlo’s friend, lover and confidant. Muray’s photographs bring to light Kahlo’s deep interest in her Mexican heritage, her life and the people significant to her.

Check out AZPM’s recent television story on this exhibition.

This touring exhibition originates from the Nickolas Muray Archives, Alta, Utah and Tour Management is by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services, Kansas City, Missouri.