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Mexican art celebrated at Detroit Institute of Arts

This weekend, the Detroit Institute of Arts is set to open a public exhibition of Mexican art.

The exhibition, which will run for a month, will focus on nearly 70 pieces by Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

The institute is renowned for its Diego Rivera murals which date back to 1932 when artist, Rivera, worked mainly on the “Detroit Industry” murals. A panel of 27 of his preparatory drawings for the frescoes, which have not been displayed in almost 30 years, will also be part of the exhibit.

Due to funding issues the exhibit was put on hold for nearly a decade but Museum director, Graham Beal, says they had dozens of works on loan from museums around Mexico and the United States.
“When we knew we had a life in front of us, we returned to the idea of the Rivera exhibition, based on the Rivera murals,” Beal said.

Curator Mark Rosenthal worked with experts in Detroit’s Mexican-American community so the exhibit would provide visitors with a sense of what life was like for artists in Depression-era Detroit.

Rivera’s murals were often met with controversy in the United States due to their revolutionary themes. Now, however, his murals are deemed to be his best work and are among the museum’s most celebrated pieces.

Kahlo, who’s most recognized work includes Henry Ford Hospital, is at the Detroit Institute of Arts on loan from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico City in 1907. She eventually returned to her native city and died there in 1954. Diego Rivera was born in Guanajuato in 1886 and died in Mexico City in 1957. Diego and Frida married in 1940.

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