the practical jokes, etc.—paris—Charlie Chaplin, gide, boxer
limits the number of readymades, never sold, only to be given away
Photo of them together in san francisco 1930, port by frida 1931
and here is a self prot of him from that year, he headed off to Spain. HE WAS IN SPAIN 1907-10. ONCE IN MADRID, SET UP IN STUDIO OF A PORT PAINTER, AND PAINTED FROM DAWN TO PAST MIDNIGHT MOST DAYS, INCREDIBLE WORK ETHIC, HE WOULD DO THAT FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE, REAL TIRELESS WORKER. AND THERE WAS ABLE TO STUDY IN PRADO WORKS OF VELAZ, GOYA, ETC., ETC., ONE OF FINEST PAINTING COLLECTIONS IN THE WORLD. IN 1909 LEFT FOR PARIS.
THIS IS A PORT HE DOES OF HER AROUND THAT TIME
HE IS INSPIRED ENUF TO GO TO MEXICO AND STUDY, ESP. GIOTTO, FIRSTHAND—COMMITS IN 1920 TO GO BACK TO MEXICO WHERE HE IS STILL A FAVORED SON, HE IS GOING TO GO BACK AND WORK ON GOVT COMMS, BUT FIRST THEY WILL FOOT THE BILL FOR HIS ITALY TRIP, THEY AUTH THE TRIP, GIVE HIM 2000 PESOS IN DEC. LEAVES—AND W/OUT ANGELINA. STUDIES IN FLORENCE, ROME, PADUA, ESP. ITALIAN REN FRESCO PAINTING, AND WILL COME BACK AND BECOME THE GREATEST FRESCO PAINTER OF THE MODERN AGE—IN MEXICO, WHERE HE RETURNED IN 1921, AFTER LEAVING WIFE, MISTRESES, AND DAUGHTER BEHIND. WHEN HE GOES BACK, EARLY 1920S, POST REVOLUTION, AND A NEW WAVE OF IDEALISM SWEEPING MANY IN MEXICO, THIS INCLUDES A GUY NAMED VASCONCELOS,
ONE THING HE DOES GET OUT OF THIS FIRST MURAL COMM. THOUGH, IS ANOTHER WIFE, AND THIS TIME THEY ARE LEGALLY MARRIED—ONE OF THE MODELS, LUPE MARIN THIS IS HIS PORT OF HER—BUT THIS IS ALSO BY THE WAY FROM 16 YEARS AFTER THEY MARRIED, NOT FROM WHEN HE MET HER.
Rivera, now back in post revolution mexico, also becoming increasingly politically active, and in 1922 becomes card carrying member 992 of mexican communist party, along with the muralist siquieros, even forms a union within the party for painters and sculptors, and in 1923 is elected to the party’s general committee. Also in that year, after working thru student work, cubism, various other phases of modernism, and doing them well, but not well enough that his mural is satisfactory, not mexican enuf, he finally discovers his own voice, his own style, and it is very mexican, a fusion of all that has gone on over the past several years, the experiments in style, the new interest in politics, the return to his own country. On a trip to indian country of tehuantepec, starts doing sketches, and paints Bather of Tehuantepec
Around this time, 1922, vasconcelos opening a new ministry of education building, wants it painted with murals, and singles out rivera to be the main painter. And the murals not decoration, vasconcelos wanted them to repr. A statement of the new ministry’s ideals. Rivera in sole charge of the works. Many of these distinctly show his political orientation, some will have hammers and sickles prominently displayed. Others show sympathy for peasants at expense of aristocracy—liberation of the peon,for ex. Shows a peasant who has been stripped, bound, and flayed being freed and tenderly tended by armed horsemen (hard to see, his body is this black crescent in front), while in background a hacienda—that of the aristocrat who beat him,
while grim faced white owners = old order, euro. Derived aristocrats, sit and grimly listen, they are the former owners of the estate.
14 frescoes. And paints over entrance stairway motto, “here we teach the exploitation of the earth, not of man.” AND PAINTINGS TO INSPIRE AND COMMEMORATE DIST. OF LAND AMONG CAMPESINOS, MANHY OF WHOM CAME TO THIS SCHOOL TO LEARN HOW TO WORK IT PROPERLY NOW THAT THEY ARE OWNERS INSTEAD OF JUST SERFS. CHAPINGO, WEIRD PERIOD IN MEXICAN REVO.—1924-25, A NEW REVO PRESIDENT, CALLES, AND HE AND HIS SUPPORTERS REALLY JUST A BAND OF HOODS. DECIDES TO DECLARE WAR ON THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH. BASICALLY, REVO RUNNING OUT OF STEAM, AND CALLES AND HIS GUYS WANT TO CREATE A DIVERSION, FIND SOMETHING TO KEEP FIGHTING ABOUT TO COVER UP THE FACT THAT INSTEAD OF REDISTRIBUTING WEALTH, ETC., THEY ARE STEALING EVERYTHING. SO DECLARE WAR ON CHURCH. IN SOME AREAS TRY TO INSTALL THEIR OWN PREIESTS, IN OTHERS TRY TO PASS LAWS FORCING THE PRIESTS TO GET MARRIED, IN MEXICO CITY, THROW A SURPRISE BDAY PARTY FOR ONE OF THE GENERALS IN ONE OF THE BIGGEST AND MOST IMORTANT CHURCHES, SERVE A BANQUET ON THE ALTAR, BREAK OPEN TABERNACLE, BREW COFFEE IN THE CHALICES AND DIP THE HOSTS IN THE COFFEE. KIND OF A MISCALCULATION. THINKING THAT THE PEOPLE WOULD WANT TO GET RID OF CHURCH AS ANOTHER FORM OF OPPRESSION, MORE LAND, ETC., TO REDISTRIBUTE, BUT MEXICAN PEOPLE VERY DEDICATED TO CHURCH, PEASANTS RISE UP AGAINST THIS, GO TO BATTLE FOR CHURCHES UNDER BANNER OF VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE. RIVERA, A COMMUNIST, VERY IN SYMPATHY WITH THE ANTI-CLERICAL SIDE, VERY ANTI-ORGANIZED RELIGION, AND FINDS PERFECT PLATFORM SINCE AT CHAPANGO THERE WAS CHAPEL HE COULD DECORATE. APPROACHES IT IN A VERY BLASPHEMOUS WAY. RIGHT OVER AREA WHEN YOU ENTERED, PAINTED A RED STAR AND HANDS HOLDING HAMMER AND SICKLE—SO KIND OF LIKE REPLACEMENT FOR CRUCIFIX, SETS TONE FOR HE BUILDING REDEFINED IN RIVERAS COMMUNIST, ANTI-CLERICAL TERMS. PAINTS ON WALLS TWO SERIES, SOCIAL REVOLUTION AND NATURAL EVOLUTION—FORMER ABOUT RAISING OF CLASS CONSCIOUSNESS AND TRIUMPH OF REVO OVERTHROWING OLD ORDER, LATTER STARTS WITH BLOOD OF REVO MARTYRS FERTILIZING THE EARTH (PARODY OF TRAD CATH PAINTING THEMES) AND ENDS WITH A NEW AND ABUNDANT EARTH GROWING OUT OF IT.
STRANGE CONTRASTS—FROM SUBTERRANEAN VOLCANIC FORCES TO SIMPLE LABORERS SHUCKING CORN—BUT AGAIN, OVERARCHING THEME UNITES SUCH DISPARATE SCENES—THRU REVO AND RISING, TRIUMPH OF THE PEASANTS, COMES AN UNLEASHING OF MAN’S POTENTIAL, AN NEW MASTERY OF HUMAN NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT, WHICH REALIZES HIS HIGHEST POTENTIAL. A LOT OF NUDES, SEXUALITY HERE, NO DOU T GREAT JOY IN DOING SO IN A FORMER JESUIT CHAPEL. IRONY—WHILE PAINTING HIS BLASPHEMIES, FALLS FOR THEONLY TIME IN HIS LIFE, OFF HIS SCAFFOLDING AND FRACTURES SKULL AND HAS TO RECUPERATE FOR THREE MONTHS.
SO GOES BACK TO MEXICO TO FINISH MIN ED., AND LIKE I SAID, AFTER MOSCOW REALLY A HIGH INTL. REP. SHOWS OF HIS EASEL PAINTINGS (THAT WAS THE MAIN SOURCE OF INCOME, NOT THE MURALS, WHICH FOR THE TIME SPENT PROVIDED VERY LOITTLE MONEY) GO ON IN THE USA. BUT HE IS BACK IN MEXICO WORKING, MIN ED, AND CONTINUES THE RADICAL POLITICAL STUFF THROUGH THE REST OF THE BUIDLING—BNAQUET OF THE RICH—MAYBE INSP. BY GEORGE GROSZ EXH HE SAW IN BERLIN ON WAY TO MSOCOW—BANQUET ITSELF IS JUST A TICKETRAPE AS THEY EAT IN FRONT OF THEIR VAULT—PICTURE OF GRINGO GREED, BANQUET OF THE RICH. OTHER MURALS, FOR EX., NO WORK, NO FOOD, BANDOLIERED REVOLUTIONARY WOMEN HANDS A GRINGO SOCIETY WOMAN A BROOM, FORCES HER TO WORK—IN NEW ORDER, YOUR POSITION DEFINED SOLEY BYCONTRIBUTION TO SOCIETY AS OLD ARISTOCRACY WILL BE OVERTURNED, ROLES REVERSED.
AND ONE AT THE VERY END, A VERY INCINDIARY PICTURE, VERY COMMUNIST AND REVO IN BOTH THEME AND PRESENTATION—CALLED INSURRECTION, OR THE DISTRIBUTION OF ARMS. INSURRECTION, OR THE DISTRIBUTION OF ARMS. 1928—COMMUNIST REVOS—NOITICE RED STAR ON GUY INF RONT, COMMUNIST FLAGS HELD BY WORKERS IN BACJ, RECEIVING ARMS FROM A RED SHIRTED, RED STARRED COMMUNIST RADICAL TO GO OUT AND CARRY ON THE FIGHT. THIS MURAL FEATRUES SEVERAL OF RIVERA’S COMMIE FRIENDS—FOR EX., ON RIGHT, GUY IN HAT IN FORGREOUND STARING AT WOMAN IS A CUBAN RADICAL IN MEXICO, A GUY WHO WOULD SOON BE ASSASSINATED, NAMED MELLA. AND EVEN INCLUDES A COUPLE OF HIS MISSTRESSES AS MODELS. HE HAS A COUPLE KIDS WITH LUPE MARIN, BUT RIVERA IS ON HIS OWN NOW, AND PURSUING A LOT OF WOMEN. THE ONE IN THE RIGHT FORE IS TINA MODOTTI, HIS MISTRESS, SHE AND MELLA HAD GOTTEN TOGETHER, HENCE THEM STARING AT EACH OTHER, AND THE CENTER FIGURE HERSELF IS A NEW ONE, A GIRL HE MET AT A PARTY AT TINA MODOTTI’S HOUSE, HER NAME IS FRIDA KAHLO.
B. 1907, father german jewish, mother spanish mexican. Father guillermo a photographer. 3 sisters, no borsthers. At age 19 her father had emigrated to mexivo from germany because he hated his stepmother, wanted to leave, so his father gave him a ticket to mexico. Frida’s mother was his second wife. Matilda.. Guillermo did well enuf as a photog to givethem a comfortale life and byuild casa azul. She was partly crippled in rightr lreg by polio at age 6.
All her life would suffer aftermath of this accident—lives antoher 29 years, but her body in slow decay—had 32 operations over the course of her life, none of them able to completely restore her. Refereed to herself as the broken column, WHICH IS THE TITLE OF THIS PAINTING. One irony her is that it was really the accident which launched her as a ;painter—in recuperation, couldn’t move, go out, so it was then that she really took up painting.
So many procedures throughout her life, the accident continued to haunt her, and the many operations reopened the wound again and again, a pain and trauma which never left her and appear again and again in her art—on left, remembrance of an open wound, leg open wound, 1938; on right, again back in hosp in 1951, in wheelchair a self port with doctor farill. This one from 1946, poignant tree of hope, as she sits in front of her own mangled body on agurney, her corset in her hand.
Well, back to this early period in her life, around 1929--Becomes friends with tina modotti and joins young communists league. Starts hanging out with diego, watching him paint, he starts coming over and courting her. Wisely, he declines to give her painting instruction, that is one area he does not interfere with—she learns from watching him and listening to him talk about painting, but he realizes her tremendous imagination and wants that to guide her, he doesn’t want to start giving her lessons and have her just turn into a bad version of him. Married diego in 1929. her friends called it a match between an elephant and a dove. And here is the wedding portrait itself
Ironic—rift with mexican communist party, but continues to be a devoted communist. But rift esp. by 1930, goes to usa to paint—first project san francisco. HERE ARE DIEGO AND FRIDA IN SF. They had been trying for years to bring him up there, had a standing commission offer from sf art inst., but never able to arrange visa because a communist. Now that he has been disaffected from mexican comm. Party, even tho still a communist, is able to get a usa visa, and comes up to do a fresco at pacific stock exch. In sf.
Considering the radical ideas he has been working with, now, in the usa itself, and in a stock exchange, one might expect something really bombastic and propagandistic. Instead, he restrains himself, and does an allegory of riches of california—gold miners, docks, fruits, machinery. Woman in center, allegory of kind of mother goddess california, modelled after tennis champion helen willis moody, with whom he started an affair in sf. Frida with him, and she had to put up with this kind of stuff, and he was often not discreet. She herself in turn would take up affairs, often with other women, and incl even georgia okeeffe, but was always discreet.
Returns to mexico only soon after to come back to the usa with frida—ny and detroit—he has a comm at det. Art inst., and moma has decided to mount a career retrospective. Brings 143 paintings and 8 frescoes on portable panels. Curious, will in ny show a considerbly more political side than he had in sf, yet no one seems to care, and results in bizarre contradictions, him being wined and dined by people like nelson rockefeller (shown here with frida), exactly the people he was attacking in scenes like he banquet of the rich
— almost sci fi like, in a vault under new york itself, the assets are not money, but human beings, human labor kept locked in suspended animation and watched over by a guard.
but for frida a tragedy—miscarriage there in 1932. so let’s go back to frida; here own painting from 1932 of herself in Henry Ford hospital, ref. to miscarriage. Hence the name of this painting. Frida also kept working, although her work no where near as famous or public as her husband’s. she kept doing the self portraits, but marriage could be painful for her—for one thing, matter of diego’s many affairs with other women, as she once said, I suffered two terrible accidents in my life, one was the streetcar that knocked me down, the other was diego. Another source was pain was inability to bear children, this is prior to the miscarraige in detroit, was forced to have an abortion back when they were in cuernavaca, back when he was painting cortes’s palace.
LITHO AFTER FIRST ABORTION CUERNAVACA
For her, obviously, the major drama came in detroit—trying to take the pregnancy to term was foolish, but she was determined to optimistic, the previous abortion nec. Because the child was not situated correctly and it would pose a severe health risk for her, and no way to correct it. this time she was optimistic, but she started to get very sick a couple months in, spots started developing on her body, uterus hurt, and severe nausea. Lost the child on fourth of july 1932. she started to expel blood that night, as we see in the painting, and diego called for an ambulance. By the time they arrived, she was covered in tears, bed covered in blood, and baby was lost. She herself was too sick to move, 13 days in the hospital. After five days, well enough to draw, and did studies from a medical book of a human fetus (here) wanted to do a port of her own fetus as it would have looked when it died. And also starts crowding the pages with automatic drawings—automatism, surreal technique, so explains the odd juxtapositions here. Here, six vein-like red ribbons attached to her. Salmon pink torso = insides of a woman, sperm-like things on it. all the things shown = maternal fsailure. Snail = slowness of miscairrage. Machine thing = bad luck, pain—she said anytjing mechanical she equated with pain—accident ref? orchid, a flower diego gave her in hosp, but her styled to = a uterus, and hips = broken pelvis. She painted this on sheet metal,like a retablo
Rivera offered to add in someone like abe lincoln on other side to balance out lenin, but archs decided to try to get out of contract with him. They had him kicked out of building without even being able to take his art supplies, and that night a hoard of art supporters and communists protested at the building. When rivera decided the cause was lost, he eventually started mocking the rockefellers in the press, which made it all worse. He wound up doing a series of portable frescos for an art school on the history of america which started with colonial america and ended with a portrait of hitler (these were since destroyed in a fire)—so clearly not only was a america done with him, but he with america, and he left ny forever. After he left, archs and rockefellers sent a team in with axes at midnight on a Saturday to pulverize rivera’s mural.
Back in mexico, the other pain in her life, the mental one, from diego’s affairs, finally becomes too much to bear. Diego starts an affair with her sister, cristina, saw her in this early port by frida
ON THE SUBJECT OF HER ART AT THIS TIME, This is a painting by frida we’ve already seen called the two fridas, one of her most famous. This actually has a connection to her pain due to diego, the two fridas, living and dead, but also the one diego loves and the one he betrays. The one he does not love is in the white victiorian dress. Both have hearts exposed. One-loved one’s bodice torn to reveal broken heart, the other’s heart is whole.
The one who is loved holds a miniature portrait of diego in her hand, the unloved one holds a pincers with which she attempts ot stop the bleeding of her heart.
Moves out of the house, taking her pet spider monkey with her, this is a couple pictures of her with it, and it is the first of many separations.
Bringing back our old friend trotsky, remember she had an affair with him, and When frida got back from paris, rivera divorced her, and trotsky was in fact murdered by the stalinists in 1940, icepick in back of head, and
He had gone to SF to paint at SF city college where she and diego recocile and remarry in 1940. here, in sf getting wedding certifucate. Back in mexico, from 1941 on, diego mostly involved in continuing work on national palace murals, a set of murals for a hospital, but his greatest interest was in a strange structure, a combo house, studio, and aztec-type temple he desigined, which he wanted to use as his burial place outside mexico city in anahuacalli.
THIS IS HER PAINTING IN BED AROUND THAT TIME, and in 1953 they amputated her right leg, and by then she had pretty much given up on life., in that same year, 1953, a solo show, her first ever in mexico was organized because her friends realized the end was near for her. By the night of the opening, her doctors forbade her to move, so she had her bed sent to the gallery itself, the paintings rearranged within the gallery so that her bed could be included as a part of the exhibit itself. She was brought to the opening in an ambulance and carried in in a stretcher and laid in her bed so she could be there.
HERE SHE IS BEING CARRIED INTO THE SHOW.The leg amputatuion occurred after the opening, not before.
the next year, 1954, she died, suicide, od of painkillers after leaving a suicide note in her diary, the last thing she drew in her diary was a black angel risen into the sky, and the last words were “I hope the exit is joyful , and I hope to never come back, frida”.THIS IS HER ON HER DEATHBED, THIS IS THE FUNERAL PROCESSION
Take alook at perhaps the most important of all works of feminist or women’s art, something that summarizes everything we have been talking about, the dinner party by judy chicago
DADA “ We are a furious wind, tearing the dirty linen of clouds and prayers, preparing the spectacle of disaster, fire, decomposition . . . there is a great negative work of destruction to be accomplished. We must sweep and clean. Affirm the cleanliness of the individual after the state of madness, aggressive complete madness of a world abandoned to the hands of bandits, who rend one another and destroy the centuries. Dada: abolition of logic . . . Dada: abolition of memory . . . Dada: abolition of the future . . . Dada: absolute and unquestionable faith in every god that is the immediate product of spontaneity . . . Dada: a roaring of tense colors, and interlacing of opposites and all contradictions, grotesques, inconsistencies. DADA: LIFE.”—Tristan Tzara
DADA “ Art is not the most precious manifestation of life. Art has not the celestial and universal value that people like to attribute to it. Life is far more interesting. Dada knows the correct measure that should be given to art: with subtle, perfidious methods, Dada introduces it into daily life. And vice versa.”—Tristan Tzara
DADA “ We spoke of Dada as of a crusade to win back the promised land of the Creative . . . the important thing about Dada is that we despised what is commonly regarded as art, but put the whole universe on the lofty throne of art. We declared that everything that comes into being or is made by man is art.”--Hans (Jean) Arp
DADA Marcel Duchamp “ Non-retinal art”: Art directed at the mind, not the eye. Even the revolutionary modern movements had still been involved with producing “retinal” art— something directed primarily at the eye, at pure visual pleasure, and Duchamp believed that even the leading modernists were still “ retinals” at heart.
“ Whether Mr. Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under a new title and point of view—he created a new thought for that object .”—Marcel Duchamp, arguing on behalf of the inclusion of the “Fountain” in 1917 group show Fountain by “R. Mutt” (Marcel Duchamp; 1917)
DADA Marcel Duchamp “ Readymades”: objects promoted to the status of art by the choice of the artist.
<ul><li>Snail: </li></ul><ul><li>slowness of </li></ul><ul><li>miscarraige </li></ul><ul><li>Hips: her </li></ul><ul><li>broken </li></ul><ul><li>pelvis; </li></ul><ul><li>anatomical </li></ul><ul><li>inability to </li></ul><ul><li>have children </li></ul><ul><li>Dead fetus </li></ul>Internal organs, reproductive system Orchid: flower Diego gave her; styled like uterus Machine: pain
LENIN ROCKEFELLER CENTER MURAL by DIEGO RIVERA
TROTSKY FRIDA FRIDA KAHLO and DIEGO RIVERA: divorced LEON TROTSKY: murdered, 1940 DIEGO RIVERA: flees Mexico
FRIDA KAHLO AND DIEGO RIVERA: MARRIAGE #2 (1940, in San Francisco)
Frida Kahlo’s continuing medical problems: 1940s: more unsuccesful operations, increasing pain and incapacitation 1951: gangrene of foot, spends most of the year in the hospital 1953: leg amputated