The editorial categories are research topics that have guided researchers during the recovery phase and continue to be the impetus behind the Documents Project’s digital archive and the Critical Documents book series. Developed by the project’s Editorial Board, each of the teams analyzed this framework and adapted it to their local contexts in developing their research objectives and work plans during the Recovery Phase. Learn more on the Editorial Framework page.
In Palencia’s view, Frida Kahlo is one of the best representatives of the oneiric or surrealist genre. Nevertheless, he believes she should be included within this group with certain restrictions and limits. The quote by André Bretón (“Frida Kahlo’s art is a ribbon tied around a bomb”) implies for the author a “humorous” literary game that does not manage to explain the painter’s work in all its complexity and profundity. In fact, Kahlo is a classic example of rebellion and independence, in whose work the “most pure experience of the female condition” and the crudest realism flourished at the same time. Palencia emphasizes the aesthetics and technique of her painting, such as solid drafting and the use of an analytical method.
It is necessary to note that the majority of attention paid to Frida Kahlo’s (1907–1954) painting came precisely from those critics with whom she maintained intimate friendships, such as Luis Cardoza y Aragón and Ceferino Palencia, among others. It is therefore impossible to understand Kahlo without connecting her to powerful intellectual circles in Mexico and abroad. Having been exiled from Spain during the Civil War (1936-39), Palencia was obliged to adapt to a cultural environment that was foreign to him; this led him to explore Mexican art in his weekly newspaper editorial. He placed special emphasis on questions of form and aesthetics, and became one of the chief chroniclers of the national arts milieu at that time.