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Mexican Modernism takes over the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Howard Halle

If you’re a fan of Frida Kahlo—and these days, who isn’t?—hop the Amtrak from Penn Station for the City of Brotherly Love, where her canvas, Self Portrait on the Border Line, is currently on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Diego Rivera, Portrait of Martín Luis Guzmán, 1915
© Banco de México Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
José Chávez Morado, Carnaval en Huejotzingo (Carnival in Huejotzingo), 1939
Phoenix Art Museum

It’s just one of many works in the museum’s blockbuster survey, “Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950,” which looks at the history of the 20th-century Mexican avant-garde. 

Juan O'Gorman, Mexico City, 1949

Along with Kahlo, just about every big name from the period is represented, with contributions from Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Rufino Tamayo and Tina Modotti (to name just a few). Works span every medium, from painting and sculpture to printmaking and photography.

Leopoldo Méndez, Proletarian Hand, 1932
Philadelphia Museum of Art

Organized in conjunction with the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City (where the show travels in February) “Paint the Revolution” limns a fascinating portrait of a key time and place in the development of Modern Art.

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