María Izquierdo and Frida Kahlo: Challenging Visions in Modern Mexican Art

Hardcover | August 15, 2015

byNancy Deffebach

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María Izquierdo (1902–1955) and Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) were the first two Mexican women artists to achieve international recognition. During the height of the Mexican muralist movement, they established successful careers as easel painters and created work that has become an integral part of Mexican modernism. Although the iconic Kahlo is now more famous, the two artists had comparable reputations during their lives. Both were regularly included in major exhibitions of Mexican art, and they were invariably the only women chosen for the most important professional activities and honors.

In a deeply informed study that prioritizes critical analysis over biographical interpretation, Nancy Deffebach places Kahlo's and Izquierdo's oeuvres in their cultural context, examining the ways in which the artists participated in the national and artistic discourses of postrevolutionary Mexico. Through iconographic analysis of paintings and themes within each artist's oeuvre, Deffebach discusses how the artists engaged intellectually with the issues and ideas of their era, especially Mexican national identity and the role of women in society. In a time when Mexican artistic and national discourses associated the nation with masculinity, Izquierdo and Kahlo created images of women that deconstructed gender roles, critiqued the status quo, and presented more empowering alternatives for women. Deffebach demonstrates that, paradoxically, Kahlo and Izquierdo became the most successful Mexican women artists of the modernist period while most directly challenging the prevailing ideas about gender and what constitutes important art.

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From the Publisher

María Izquierdo (1902–1955) and Frida Kahlo (1907–1954) were the first two Mexican women artists to achieve international recognition. During the height of the Mexican muralist movement, they established successful careers as easel painters and created work that has become an integral part of Mexican modernism. Although the iconic Kahl...

Format:HardcoverDimensions:251 pages, 11.27 × 8.76 × 0.75 inPublished:August 15, 2015Publisher:University Of Texas PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0292772424

ISBN - 13:9780292772427

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part One: The Problem of the Hero

1. Women on the Wire: Izquierdo's Images of Female Circus Performers

2. Saints and Goddesses: Kahlo's Appropriations of Religious Iconography in Her Self-portraits

Part Two: Legitimating Traditions

3. Revitalizing the Past: Precolumbian Figures from West Mexico in Kahlo's Paintings

4. Kahlo's The Girl, the Moon and the Sun, 1942

5. Mother of the Maize: Izquierdo's Images of Rural Gardens with Granaries

Part Three: The Wall of Resistance

6. What Sex Is the City? Izquierdo's Aborted Mural Project

Part Four: Still-Life Paintings

7. Picantes pero sabrosas: Kahlo's Still-Life Paintings and Related Images

8. Grain of Memory: Izquierdo's Paintings of Altars to the Virgin of Sorrows

Part Five: Women's Rights in Modern Mexico

9. Beyond the Canvas: Izquierdo, Kahlo, and Women's Rights

Conclusion

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

"A significant contribution to the field of Mexican art history. . . . In many cases, the ideas presented are defended by way of new data. Also, the author focuses on works that have received far less attention from other scholars. The text will be useful to academics in the discipline of art history, and, given the strong and continuing interest in Frida Kahlo, it will undoubtedly be of interest to general audiences around the globe." - Catha Paquette, Associate Professor of Art History, California State University, Long Beach