Largest Frida Kahlo Exhibit in 40 Years Happening in Chicago Next Year
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Largest Frida Kahlo Exhibit in 40 Years Happening in Chicago Next Year

Frida Kahlo’s work will always draw crowds and Chicago is not just hosting a new exhibition on her work next summer, they’re borrowing 26 original works from the Museo Dolores Olmedo in Mexico City to display the largest collection of her work in the Windy City in 40 years. The Cleve Carney Museum of Art and the McAninch Arts Center in partnership with College of DuPage will host the newest exhibition on the Mexican icon entitled Frida Kahlo 2020, according to My Modern Met.

The exhibition will feature a selection of her oil paintings and drawings that cover significant events and people in her life, including the trauma of the bus accident that left her in pain for the rest of her life and her romance with fellow acclaimed artist Diego Rivera.  The exhibition will also feature reproductions of Kahlo’s clothing, a multimedia timeline of her life, and a video presentation along with a “poetry garden”  designed for the event.

“This unique collection of works is deeply tied to Kahlo’s personal narrative. it covers an arc of her life and career,” Justin Witte, Cleve Carney Museum of Art Director and exhibition curator told My Modern Met. “It’s a full arc tied into her person and covers her accident, which is when she started to create self-portraits.”

The museum calls her art “ahead of its time” quoting Kahlo when she explained that she “painted her reality,” and she never let her physical limitations become artistic ones. In “The Broken Column” she’s nude from the waist up except for the corset 18-year-old Kahlo had to wear after the accident, her spine exposed (it broke during the accident), and she’s covered in nails — a representation of the pain she felt on the inside.

“There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the train, the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst,” she famously said.

One of her most famous works, “Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace” from 1940 was created after her painful divorce from Rivera. The self-portrait has her surrounded by her pet monkey and a cat, with a necklace of thorns that has a dead hummingbird hanging from it. Her face remains stoic — she’s defiantly looking ahead despite the bleeding.

Frida Kahlo 2020 opens June 1 through August 31. Untimed entry tickets are currently on sale for $35. You can purchase timed entry tickets for $18 in-person beginning December 7 and online or by phone starting on December 10, 2019.