Quick Center for the Arts will open the exhibition ‘Frida Kahlo’s Garden’ on April 6

April 01, 2022

A spring exhibit at the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts will celebrate Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and her botanical imagery and reverence for nature.

Kahlo is considered one of the most important artists of the 20th century. His body of work, comprising some 250 paintings and drawings, is both intensely personal and universal, drawing heavily on the natural world.

The exhibition “Frida Kahlo’s Garden” transports visitors to Kahlo’s garden to experience her world as she did. It opens its doors on Wednesday, April 6 at the Quick Center for the Arts at Saint-Bonaventure University.

The Quick Center will also host a screening of the film “Frida” on Wednesday, April 27 at 7 p.m. at the Rigas Family Theater. The film, which was released in 2002 and won two Oscars, stars Salma Hayek as Kahlo and Alfred Molina as her husband. The screening is free and open to the public.

The garden of Casa Azul (or Blue House), Kahlo’s lifelong home in Coyoacán, Mexico, was a creative refuge and source of inspiration for the artist and her husband, Diego Rivera (1886–1957) . The garden, filled with native plants, housed Kahlo and Rivera’s collection of pre-Hispanic artifacts and folk art, displayed on a four-tiered pyramid inspired by the Mesoamerican city of Teotihuacan. This exhibit offers insight into how the Casa Azul garden, the diversity of plant life in Mexico, and the country’s rich cultural history have fueled the creativity of the world’s great artists.

Often overshadowed by her husband’s career and the traumatic events of his life, the exhibition approaches Kahlo from a different angle, to broaden the discussion of the artist by focusing on the influence of his environment, both natural and nationalist. The approach examines his garden, his house and the revolutionary influences that influenced his life.

Kahlo’s works are filled with colorful and compelling depictions of flowers, foliage, and fruit, many of which are native to Mexico. His choice of botanical imagery reflects the embrace of archetypal Mexican native and natural elements that defined art in the decades following the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). Through her deeply personal paintings – which convey cultural, spiritual and intimate messages – her reverence for nature and her nationalistic fashion sense, Kahlo has become an icon in the art world.

Visitors to “Frida Kahlo’s Garden” will discover iconic photographs of the artist, her home and her garden, as well as reproductions of many of her paintings. Also included are information about the native Mexican plants that were grown in her garden, a dress from the Mexican state of Oaxaca where Kahlo sourced much of her attire, and examples of folk art collected by Kahlo and Rivera. Plus, visitors will learn about Mexican culture, including traditional festivities, food and drink, and agricultural practices.

“Frida Kahlo’s Garden” is an adaptation of the exhibition “FRIDA KAHLO: ART, GARDEN, LIFE” curated by guest curator Adriana Zavala at the New York Botanical Garden.

It was made possible by major funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Karen Katen Foundation, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, MetLife Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, New York State Council on the Arts with support from Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, and Gillian and Robert Steel. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this exhibit do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The exhibition runs until May 22. Gallery hours are 12-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 12-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free entry.

For more information, call the Quick Center at (716) 375-2494 or visit www.sbu.edu/quickexhibitions.

About the Mid-America Arts Alliance

Mid-America Arts Alliance (M-AAA) empowers and supports artists, cultural organizations and communities in our region and beyond. We achieve this primarily through our national traveling exhibition programs, innovative leadership development, and strategic grantmaking. We are particularly committed to enriching the cultural life of historically underserved communities by providing high quality, meaningful and accessible arts and culture programs and services. We believe in more art for more people. Additional information about M-AAA is available at www.maaa.org.

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