Zoom Lecture

6 February 2023


Frida Kahlo: Beyond Appearances

A lecture on the exhibition at the Palais Galliera, Paris (until 5 March 2023)

with Sylvie Koneski

This winter the Palais Galliera celebrates the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). Kahlo is one of the most charismatic and influential artists of the 20th century, a universal icon who fascinates, attracts and inspires across borders and cultures. Her image, captured in countless portraits and self-portraits, is widely reproduced, disseminated and exhibited as a symbol of strength and resilience, creativity and personal freedom. Self-consciously elaborated by the artist, this image constitutes a powerful marker of her identity. Far from the clichés that surround her personality, the current exhibition allows visitors to enter the intimacy of the artist and understand exactly how she constructed her unique identity. 


Two months before his death, Frida’s husband, Diego Rivera, the Mexican muralist, specified that Frida’s objects, stored in two bathrooms of the famous Casa Azul, should remain hidden from view for fifteen years. They were rediscovered fifty years later, in 2004. More than two hundred of these personal objects - clothes, correspondence, accessories, cosmetics, medicine, medical prostheses - are on show for the first time in the exhibition. Her precious collection of traditional Tehuana dresses, pre-Columbian necklaces and her hand-painted corsets are presented, along with films and photographs of the artist, to form a unique visual narrative of her extraordinary life.

Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo on a bench, carbon print, 1938
Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo on a bench, carbon print, 1938

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