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.
This article covers Frida Kahlo’s first solo exhibition, organized by Lola Álvarez Bravo’s gallery in Mexico City. Moreno Villa believes it was impossible to separate Kahlo’s work from her life. He lists a series of points that must be taken into account when viewing her paintings: the clear presence of her physical and moral pain in each of her works, the primitive folk sentiments of the art, and the repetition of various elements that formed part of her visual language (the sun, moon, roots that resemble veins, among many others).
Frida Kahlo’s first and only individual exhibition in Mexico City, organized by her friend Lola Álvarez Bravo at the Galería de Arte Moderno (1953), captured the attention of critics and the media, not only for the artistic reputation Kahlo enjoyed, but also because of her personal circumstances, which were tinged by tragedy. The painter arrived at the show in an ambulance and her bed was placed in the interior of the gallery. Independent of these events (which have since gained mythical stature in Mexican art history), the show offered the opportunity for deeper reflection on the artist’s work, as Kahlo was not known beyond elite art circles. It is obvious that the general public would not attend a show in a private gallery. Nevertheless, it was the first time that Kahlo’s work would be presented as a retrospective that included a great part of her production in Mexico.
The publication México en la Cultura can be understood as the project of a group of elite intellectuals that included Frida Kahlo.