The Vitality and Expressiveness of Modern Mexican Art

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism opens at Albuquerque Museum on February 6

ALBUQUERQUE, NM — Albuquerque Museum is pleased to present Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art. The exhibition runs February 6 through May 2, 2021.

"Mexican Modernism is one of the most influential art historical developments of the 20th century," says Curator of Art Josie Lopez, Ph.D. "New Mexico is intimately tied to Mexican culture, art, and history so the opportunity to experience iconic works from important artists like Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and others is particularly profound in the Southwest. Many artists who have lived and worked in New Mexico were inspired by Mexican artists from this period. The exhibition also offers a window into both Frida Kahlo’s intimate view of the world and the vibrant identity of Mexico City, a major metropolis with global influence. New Mexico and Mexico may today be divided by a political border, but we are intimately tied together not only through the people that identify as both Mexican and American but through art, culture, and history that transcends borders."

The works in the Jacques and Natasha Gelman collection epitomize the vitality and expressiveness of modern Mexican art. They were produced in a pivotal period in Mexican history, when the nation sought to redefine itself through political, social, and cultural reforms. Some of the figures in this exhibition are household names in Mexico and a handful of these have, over time, received international recognition. Perhaps none are more well-known then Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Rivera’s intense personality, revolutionary politics, and inspiring murals made him a celebrity during his lifetime. Although once overshadowing his equally talented wife, Kahlo’s fame has far outstripped that of her husband in the years since her death. The raw emotion of her paintings still resonates today, and her intense self-portraits have made her face familiar throughout the globe.

The captivating works by these two artists assembled by Jacques and Natasha Gelman are complimented by key works from their contemporaries, such as Lola Álvarez Bravo, María Izquierdo, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Rufino Tamayo. They were created in a period of rich artistic invention, when artists considered their works potential to influence society. Their presentation in this exhibition is enhanced by period photographs that give a glimpse of important Mexican cultural figures, most notably Kahlo and Rivera, and offer a sense of their distinctive personalities.

The Gelmans formed close friendships with many of the artists included in this exhibition, often acting as patrons and promoters of their careers. The works they collected offer an unrivaled opportunity to encounter the chaotic and creative Mexican art world of the first half of the twentieth century in all its complexity. Modern Mexican art would come to exert a key influence on modern art in the United States and its impact continues to be felt throughout the world today.

"Over the past several decades, the work of Frida and Diego, now household names, have reached popular culture status, recognized, celebrated, and emulated around the world," says Albuquerque Museum Director Andrew Connors. "By bringing these original paintings to New Mexico, Museum guests will have the opportunity to get beyond the mythology, and low resolution reproductions, to discover for themselves these iconic masterpieces and experience them as the artists’ intended."

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism is organized by the Vergel Foundation and MondoMostre in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (INBAL)

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art is organized by the Vergel Foundation and MondoMostre in collaboration with the Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y Literatura (INBAL).

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism
Albuquerque Museum
February 6–May 2, 2021

$5 additional special exhibit surcharge for Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism. No surcharge for children 12 and under. Surcharge applies to all others, including members. Tickets must be purchased online, in advance. Tickets will be made available approximately two (2) weeks prior to opening date.

Albuquerque Museum will extend viewing hours during the run of this exhibition.
Sundays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays: 9 a.m.–8 p.m.

The Museum is enforcing COVID-safe practices. Masks must be worn at all times while in the Museum.

Albuquerque Museum
2000 Mountain Road NW
Albuquerque NM 87104

Albuquerque Museum has served as the city's cultural center since 1967. Located in the heart of Old Town, the Museum is a leading institution for art, history, and culture in the Southwest. Albuquerque Museum is a division of the Cultural Services Department, City of Albuquerque.


Media Contact: Denise Crouse
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