Gilcrease Museum presents Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, an exhibition of photographs of Frida Kahlo, on display beginning July 10 and running through September 11, 2016. This exhibition provides an intimate look at Frida Kahlo, Mexico’s most prolific and well-known female artist, through the photographic lens of her long-time friend and lover, Nickolas Muray.
In May 1931, Muray (1892-1965) traveled to Mexico on vacation where he met Frida Kahlo (1907-1954), a woman he would never forget. The two started a romance that continued on and off for the next 10 years and a friendship that lasted until her death in 1954. Approximately 50 photographic portraits of Kahlo taken by Muray comprise the exhibition. The photographs, dating from 1937 to 1946, 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 with whom she shared close friendship.
Born in Hungary, Nickolas Muray became a successful New York fashion and commercial photographer known for his portraits of celebrities, politicians, socialites and artists. Having experimented with color in his work from early on, he found his most colorful model in Frida Kahlo. Muray was a prolific photographer, his archives containing over 25,000 images. Muray photographed Kahlo more than any of his other subjects. These portraits of Kahlo have made their way into a variety of media and popular culture and are integral to the world’s understanding of who Frida Kahlo was as the individual behind her artwork.
Kahlo was born July 6, 1907, in Coyocoán, Mexico City, Mexico. Considered one of Mexico’s greatest artists, she began painting after she was severely injured in a bus accident. Kahlo later became politically active and married fellow communist artist Diego Rivera in 1929. She exhibited her paintings in Paris and Mexico before her death in 1954.
This traveling exhibition has been organized through the Nickolas Muray Archives and is circulated by GuestCurator Traveling Exhibitions located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Title sponsor of the Gilcrease Museum 2016 exhibition season is the Sherman E. Smith Family Foundation, with support from the Mervin Bovaird Foundation.