Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera hit Toronto


These two self portraits of influential Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are some of the fascinating paintings you will see in Toronto during the exhibit. (Courtesy of AGO)

Story by Sandra Williams-Hervé Writer

Diego Rivera’s “Flower Festival: Feast of Santa Anita” is among the pieces on display at the AGO through January 20. (Courtesy of AGO)

TORONTO, ONTARIO — The wait is finally over. The Art Gallery of Ontario has brought Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting to Canada. The Toronto exhibit is the only Canadian stop for this extraordinary collection before it moves on to the High Museum of Artin Atlanta, Georgia.

Although the fiery couple made their mark during the 1930s and ’40s, they are still pertinent to the times of today. In the United States, Rivera is more likely to draw large audiences; by contrast, in Canada it is Kahlo who is the star. “As one of the legendary artist couples of the 20th century, Rivera and Kahlo have each achieved major stature in the history of painting – yet the distinctiveness of their work has meant that they are rarely paired together in an exhibition,” said Dot Tuer, guest curator of the exhibition, in a press release. Regardless, of which artist you prefer this exhibition will be a hot ticket. In fact, membership at the AGO is at an all-time high.

The collection features 75 works from both artists, and includes interactive videos, short films and vivid photography. As you walk through the exhibit you will see proof of the themes of commitment and conviction. Their art, which was on display during a media preview on Tuesday, serves as a window to Mexico’s rich cultural past and social realities.

On October 24, 2012, the AGO will honour Kahlo and Rivera with the installation of an ofrenda (a traditional Mexican altar). Mexican artist Carlomagno Pedro Martinez will construct an ofrenda on behalf of the AGO inside the exhibition space. Visitors will also be invited to personally contribute to the ofrenda by writing or drawing their thoughts, feelings and reactions to the works of Kahlo and Rivera.

At the AGO’s signature restaurant, FRANK, the art and political discussion can continue over one or many of their Kahlo- and Rivera-inspired margaritas or over the special Mexican-themed menu.

More about Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting

Dates: Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting will run from October 20, 2012, through January 20, 2013.
Location: AGO and FRANK are located at 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto.
Public transportation: Take the TTC subway to St. Patrick station and walk three blocks west along Dundas Street to the museum. Or take the Dundas Street streetcar to either McCaul Street (if travelling east) or Beverly Street (if travelling west) and you will be in front of the museum. TTC tokens for subways and streetcars is $3 for one way. [Read more on how to Get Into and Around Toronto]
Telephone: 416-979-6648/1-877-225-4246 (toll-free)
Price: Regular-priced tickets range from $16.50 for youth and students to $25 for adults. Admission is free for all AGO members and children under the age of 5. Tickets can be purchased online through the museum.
Dining and exhibition packages: $65 (taxes included) for admission to the exhibition as well as a three-course prixe-fixe dinner at FRANK; $30 (taxes included) for admission and a set meal at cafeAGO, with a choice of sandwich, cookie and non-alcoholic beverage.

Art Gallery of Ontaro Hours
Monday: Closed
Tuesday, Thursday-Sunday: 10 am–5:30 pm
Wednesday: 10 am–8:30 pm

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Sandra Williams-Hervé is a writer, actress, and producer who divides her time between Toronto, Canada and Paris, France. She was bitten by the wanderlust bug early in life and has visited just about every continent. After growing up in Ontario, she hopes to visit all of Canada’s diverse provinces.

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