Frida Kahlo, La venadita (little deer), 1946. Private collection, Chicago. © 2013 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Shirin Neshat, Turbulent, 1998. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Susan and Lewis Manilow. © 1998 Shirin Neshat.

Thomas Houseago, Untitled, 2008. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Mary and Earle Ludgin by exchange and restricted gift of the Collectors Forum. © 2008 Thomas Houseago. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Art and Art Makers after Frida Kahlo, when the Whip Comes Down

Shirin Neshat, Turbulent, 1998. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Susan and Lewis Manilow. © 1998 Shirin Neshat.

Ana Mendieta, Untitled (from the Silueta series), 1973-77. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift from The Howard and Donna Stone Collection.

Ana Mendieta, Untitled (from the Silueta series), 1973-77. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift from The Howard and Donna Stone Collection.

 

Museum of Contemporary Art
220 E. Chicago Avenue
312-280-2660
Chicago
Unbound: Contemporary Art
after Frida Kahlo

May 3-October 5, 2014

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) Chicago presentsUnbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo•, featuring artworks that resonate with issues and ideas explored by Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Drawing primarily from work in the MCA Collection and local private collections, the exhibition positions Kahlo’s transgressive work with artists working today. Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo is on view May 3 to October 5, 2014, and is organized by MCA Curator Julie Rodrigues Widholm, with Marjorie Susman Curatorial Fellow Abigail Winograd.

Frida Kahlo is arguably one of the most famous artists in the world and her reputation and persona have grown immensely since her death in 1954. Her celebrity status has sometimes overshadowed the confrontational and bold nature of her paintings. At the time it was made, Frida Kahlo’s intimate portrayal of her physical and psychological experiences and her appropriation of Mexican folk art aesthetics challenged the bourgeois European mainstream. Her work disrupted accepted notions of gender, sexuality, social class, and ethnicity, and anticipated the broader cultural concerns — post-colonialism, feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, and globalization — that would emerge in the 1960s and continue today.

In 1978, the MCA presented Kahlo’s first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Unbound: Contemporary Art After Frida Kahlo uses two of the works included in that original 1978 exhibition, and places her work alongside more than thirty international contemporary artists. The selected artists in this exhibition share Kahlo’s spirit of rebellion and, similarly to Kahlo, are interested in being part of current conversations on contemporary art and culture. The exhibition is organized around four themes from Kahlo’s paintings: the performance of gender; issues of national identity; the political body; and the absent or traumatized body. The exhibition includes work by Francis Alÿs and Enrique Huerta, Margot Bergman, Sanford Biggers, Louise Bourgeois, Martin Soto Climent, Abraham Cruzvillegas, Eugenio Dittborn, Yang Fudong, Julio Galan, Nan Goldin, Thomas Houseago, Frida Kahlo, Nelson Leirner, José Leonilson, Ana Mendieta, Beatriz Milhazes, Donald Moffett, Celia Alvarez Muñoz, Wangechi Mutu, Shirin Neshat, Helio Oiticica, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Angel Otero, Jack Pierson, Rosângela Rennó, Daniela Rossell, Doris Salcedo, Cindy Sherman, Lorna Simpson, and Valeska Soares.

Frida Kahlo, Arbol de la Esperanza (Tree of Hope), 1946. Private Collection, Chicago. © 2014 Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Cindy Sherman, Untitled #153, 1985. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Gerald S. Elliott by exchange. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Catherine Opie, In Memory/Leigh Bowery, 2000. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Gary Heiferman, Chip Tom and Michael W. Rabkin, C. Bradford Smith and Donald L. Davis, in honor of the birth of Oliver Hill Opie; and gift in memory of John S. Baran. © 2000 Catherine Opie. Photo: Michael David Rose, © MCA Chicago.

Lorna Simpson, She, 1992. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Judith Neisser. © 1992 Lorna Simpson. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

Ana Mendieta, Untitled (from the Silueta series), c. 1978. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Bernice and Kenneth Newberger Fund.

Daniela Rossell, Untitled (Ricas y famosas) (rooftop), 1999. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of The Disaronno Originale Photography Collection. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.