A couple of weeks ago, Bob and I took a quick overnight trip to Nashville for an appointment. I was thrilled that this schedule allowed us to see the Mexican Modernism exhibition at the Frist Museum! Several paintings by Frida Kahlo, along with several more by her husband Diego Rivera, were the focal point of the show. I couldn’t contain my excitement that we’d get to go see these works, as Frida Kahlo has been my very favorite artist since I was a teenager. In fact, I kept a postcard print of the above painting, Self-Portrait as a Tehuana (Diego on my Mind), on my dorm room bulletin boards throughout college.
I was so excited to see Frida’s paintings that I ordered a copy of my favorite non-required-reading book from college, Hayden Herrera’s Frida: The Biography of Frida Kahlo. I wanted to remember all of the important details of Frida’s life, influences, and work before I saw her paintings!
Y’all, this exhibition was amazing. I’m not kidding you, I was in tears several times as I looked up close at works I’d previously only seen in reproduction. Even if you aren’t a Frida junkie like me, it’s a very well-done series. The works in the exhibition are from the Jacques and Natasha Gilman collection, and include many of the most celebrated and recognizable works from Rivera, Kahlo, and several of their contemporaries.
In addition to the fantastic array of paintings, the exhibit includes over fifty photos from Frida and Diego’s lives together. The photos cover the major events in the Frida & Diego mythology, from their two weddings to their political activism (they even helped house Leon and Natalia Trotsky in exile in Mexico City) to the ravages of Frida’s lifelong health issues, the result of a childhood bout of polio and a trolley car accident she survived as a teenager. A video of Frida and Diego plays against one wall, and several traditional Tehuana costumes, like those favored by Frida, are on display.
The exhibit runs through September 2nd; I’m seriously considering running back down for a second viewing over the holiday weekend! It was such a great reminder that Nashville hasn’t become all Bro-Country bars and bachelorette parties. Stay tuned for more adventures in how to do Nashville like an adult!