“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)

After six years of research and studies, The Museum of Culture announced yesterday a new special exhibition 'Frida Kahlo. Beyond The Myth', on view in Milan in 2018 from February 11 to June 3.

Curated by Diego Sileo, curator of Milan's Pac and a scholar of Latin American art, the project aims at being very different from the many others that preceded it, as it is not focused on Frida’s tormented private life, which has imposed mainly a biographical reading of her works. Rather, the exhibition will look at the legacy of her paintings.

We all know that Frida Kahlo's had a very intense life, characterised by personal tragedies, both physical, such as a crippling accident that fractured her spine and condemned her to live in pain, and psychological, due to the drama and passionate relationship with her infidel husband, the hugely famous muralist, Diego Rivera.

But in addition to the personal drama, Frida’s work also dealt with issues of national identity, of being different and a modern woman in a very repressive society (with a mixed ancestry – Mexican and German, she fought also for her bisexuality and against the role of La Mexicana, the traditional Mexican woman and wife).

In the 1920s, a large number of monumental murals with nationalistic, social and political messages was created on public buildings, as part of the Mexican muralism, whereas Frida’s work was more intimate and personal in scale – as a consequence, her artistic output was dominated by small self-portraits.

The Mudec exhibition will have five sections, dedicated to her relation with politics, womanhood, violence, nature and death respectively. The objective is to deep dive into the real artistic heritage of Frida, who was disengaged from any official artistic movement, and understand why she has now become a cultural icon (just to mention that lately her artwork has grown profoundly influential for feminist studies and postcolonial debates).

This project will gather for the first time in Italy more than 100 works from the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City and the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection - the two most important and extensive collections of Frida Kahlo in the world - with the participation of leading international museums that will loan some of the masterpieces of the Mexican artist never seen in Italy (including the Phoenix Art Museum, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art and Buffalo Albright-Knox Art Gallery).

On these premises, there’s no doubt that the Mudec project will be one of the most exciting forthcoming exhibitions of 2018.