History Meets Art At AGO’s Frida & Diego Exhibit

on January 7, 2013

AGO_Kalo_featuredOkay, it’s time to get your art on.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas St. W, Toronto ON) has opened its spectacular Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting exhibit featuring more than 80 works on paper and paintings by world-renowned Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Their shared passion for each other during Mexico’s revolutionary culture during the 1920s and 1930s have made Frida and Diego among Mexico’s most famous artists. The Toronto showcase allows art lovers the chance to see almost one quarter of Kahlo’s entire body of work.

During their lifetime together, Rivera achieved national praise and recognition for his mural work while Kahlo’s more intimate paintings were symbols of the Surrealist movement.

Guest-curated at the AGO by OCAD professor Dot Tuer, Frida & Diego displays important artwork for the 21st century as their work not only tells the story of their lives together but also of their commitment to the changes in value structure of the post-independent Mexico.

“As one of the legendary artist couples of the 20th century, Rivera and Kahlo have each achieved major stature in the history of painting—yet the distinctiveness of their work has meant that they are rarely paired together in an exhibition,” said Tuer. “By bringing the work together, Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting reveals the affinities—and differences—that shaped their creative visions.”

The exhibit makes its only Canadian appearance at the AGO and in October, the gallery also honoured the artists with the construction of an ofrenda, a traditional Mexican home altar that is often constructed as part of the Day of the Dead (el Dia de los Muertos). Constructed by Mexican artist Carlomagno Pedro Martinez, the ofrenda gave visitors the chance to draw and write their thoughts, feelings and reactions to the works of Kahlo and Rivera. The show space also features five papier mache Judas figures created by Toronto Island theatre company Shadowland. They also serve as a tribute to Frida and Diego who prominently featured Judas figures in their home.

Tickets to the exhibition are on-sale now and range from 16.50 for youth and student visitors to $25 for adults. Admission is free for AGO members.

If you’d like to make a Weekendtrip (and why wouldn’t you, that’s why you are here!) of it, there is a great promotion in conjunction with sponsor hotel Westin Harbour Castle that includes two VIP skip-the-line tickets. If you book a two night weekend stay between December 1 and January 13, it’s only $125 per night. You can book online or by calling 1-866-716-8101 and mentioning the code AGOFD3.

For more information about the Frida & Diego: Passions, Politics & Painting exhibit and to purchase tickets online, check out ago.net/FridaDiego. The exhibit closes on January 20.


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