Frida Kahlo was an icon of Twentieth Century art. So it is fitting and almost to be expected that the October 18 opening of the “Complete Frida Kahlo” special exhibition in San Diego was out of the ordinary. This was a very real exhibition opening, with crates of paintings, photographs, Kahlo fashions and furnishings arriving in a special international shipment and being opened on site. The federal government shutdown had also impacted the U.S. customs service, putting the valuable cultural treasures on the other side of customs clearance until the federal government got back to work on October 17.
But nothing could ever stand in the way of Frida Kahlo’s art and the exhibition launch is sprinting forward this weekend as the creative team assembles a unique collection of Kahlo art and personal items at Barracks Three of Liberty Station on Point Loma, near San Diego International Airport. As the exhibition name “complete” suggests, this exhibition is on a large scale and is filling the two story Spanish Mission style edifice with a colorful assembly of Kahlo’s creativity. This special exhibition is also helping San Diego to earn recognition as a global arts trendsetter. Last week, Frida Kahlo + Diego Rivera: Art in Fusion” opened at the Musee de la Orangerie next to the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The concept for the exhibition is innovative and an interesting example of how private museum exhibitions are changing the face of the museum world. The exhibition combines original vintage photographs with authentic, one-of-a-kind reproductions. Chief Curator Dr. Mariella Remund acquired extensive experience in materials science working at Dow Chemical and has been able to apply her expertise in the painstaking recreation of Kahlo’s fashions, self-designed jewelry and family heirlooms. Select examples will also be offered for sale in the museum gift shop.
Hundreds of original vintage photographs of Frida Kahlo and her husband, artist Diego Rivera, as well as fascinating memorabilia, are part of this extensive collection owned by Dr. Remund. These include the iconic photograph, “Frida in a Blue Dress” by Nickolas Muray. This Many of the original works of art can be seen at the Museum Frida Kahlo in Mexico City. It displays art owned by the Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, which licensed images for the creation of authentic reproductions to be shown in this special travelling exhibition. The 123 paintings are owned by the exhibition partner, Global Entertainment Partners of Los Angeles.
The proximity to the source of the paintings in Los Angeles and Frida Kahlo’s home country of Mexico made San Diego an ideal location for the premiere of the “Complete Frida Kahlo” in the United States. “San Diego is ideal because of the size and because it is a center for art events and has a well educated public used to going to cultural exhibitions,” observed Dr. Remund in the press introduction on Friday, October 18.
San Diego art patrons will have to wait until Thursday, October 24 to see the ‘Complete Frida Kahlo’ in its entirety. But if you happen to visit Point Loma this weekend, you will be able to get a glimpse of the behind the scenes activity that takes place when a large travelling art exhibition is installed in a new location.
“The Complete Frida Kahlo: Her Paintings, Her Life. Her Story. The Exhibition” will be open from Tuesday through Sunday at Liberty Station until January 10, 2014. Tickets are being offered online for a variety of showings and evening exhibitions on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.