Australia’s Largest Exhibition Dedicated to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera Tells the Intimate Story of the Iconic Mexican Duo Through Times of Profound Change

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Featuring more than 150 works, the exhibition “Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution” currently running at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) in Adelaide is more than just a presentation of the iconic art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Drawing from the renowned collection assembled by Jacques and Natasha Gelman, this elaborate exhibition tells the intimate story of Kahlo and Rivera as a couple whose lives were intertwined with art, passion, and politics, against the backdrop of the post-revolution Mexico, from the 1920s to the 1950s.

The show, which spans three galleries, presents not just Kahlo and Rivera’s paintings, works on paper, and rarely seen photographs and period clothing—it also shows works by other Mexican modernists, including Manuel and Lola Álvarez Bravo, Miguel Covarrubias, María Izquierdo, Carlos Mérida, and David Alfaro Siqueiros.

The colorful exhibition design also reflects the turbulent times that the Gelmans lived through during the 20th century while building their collection. Jacques Gelman was born in St. Petersburg to Jewish parents and went on to become a film producer and distributor in Paris before moving to Mexico in 1938, just before the outbreak of World War II. There in Mexico, he met Natasha Zahalka, who was also a migrant from Europe, and the couple wedded in 1941 in Mexico City. It was during their years in Mexico that they began to become involved in art, forming a close friendship with Kahlo and Rivera and collecting their works as well as works by others of Mexican modernists.

Frida Kahlo

Installation view: ‘Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution,’ featuring Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with monkeys, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed.

Frida Kahlo

Installation view: Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed

Frida Kahlo

Installation view: Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed

Frida Kahlo

Installation view: Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed

Frida Kahlo

Installation view: “Frida & Diego: Love & Revolution,” featuring Ángel Zarraga’s Portrait of Jacques Gelman and Diego Rivera’s Portrait of Natasha Gelman, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; photo: Saul Steed

Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera, born Guanajuanto City, Mexico 1886, died Mexico City 1957, Calla lily vendor, 1943, Mexico City, oil on board, 150.0 x 120.0 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation.

Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera, born Guanajuanto City, Mexico 1886, died Mexico City 1957, Sunflowers, 1943, Mexico City, oil on canvas, 90 x 130 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation

Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera, born Guanajuanto City, Mexico 1886, died Mexico City 1957, Landscape with cacti, 1931, Mexico City, oil on canvas, 125.5 x 150 cm, The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation

Frida Kahlo

Unknown Artist, Frida and Diego remarry, San Francisco, 1940, San Francisco, California, United States of America, gelatin- silver photograph, 23.5 x 18.4 cm; Throckmorton Fine Art, New York

Frida Kahlo

Bernard Silberstein, born Chicago, Illinois, United States of America 1905, died Cincinnati, Ohio, United States of America 1999, Frida paints “Diego on my mind” while Diego watches, 1940, Coyoacan, Mexico, gelatin-silver photograph, 43.2 x 35.6 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, born Mexico City 1907, died Mexico City 1954, The bride who becomes frightened when she sees life opened, 1943, Coyoacan, Mexico, oil on canvas, 63 x 81.5 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation

Frida Kahlo

Lola Alvarez Bravo, born Lagos de Moreno, Mexico 1903, died Mexico City, Mexico 1993, Frida Kahlo, 1944, Mexico City, gelatin-silver photograph, 25.4 x 20.3 cm; Throckmorton Fine Art, New York

Maria Izquierdo

Maria Izquierdo, born San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico 1902, died Mexico City 1955, Bride from Papantla (portrait of Rosalba Portes Gil), 1944, Mexico City, oil on canvas, 125.0 x 100.0 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation

Frida Kahlo

Juan Guzman, born Cologne, Germany 1911, died Mexico City 1982, Frida at ABC Hospital holding a mirror, Mexico, 1950, Mexico City, gelatin-silver photograph, 24.1 x 19.0 cm; Throckmorton Fine Art, New York

Friday Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, born Mexico City 1907, died Mexico City 1954, Self-portrait with red and gold dress, 1941, Coyoacan, Mexico, oil on canvas, 39.0 x 27.5 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation

Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo, born Mexico City 1907, died Mexico City 1954, Diego on my mind (Self-portrait as Tehuana), 1943, Coyoacan, Mexico, oil on board, 76 x 61 cm; The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of 20th Century Mexican Art and the Vergel Foundation

Frida Kahlo

Unknown Artist, Frida and Diego with Fulang Chang, 1937, gelatin-silver photograph, 12.7 x 10.16 cm; Throckmorton Fine Art, New York

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