I confess – I’m not a huge fan of Frida Kahlo’s work. But I developed a new appreciation for her creative spirit after visiting the New York Botanical Gardens exhibit “Frida Kahlo: Art-Garden-Life.”
The exhibition is the first to examine Frida Kahlo’s connection to the beauty and variety of the natural world, as seen by her home and garden as well as her use of plant imagery in her artwork. The exhibit has two parts – the flora and fauna, and the paintings. The first can be found in the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory where Kahlo, and her husband Diego Rivera’s, garden at the Casa Azul in Mexico City, are brought to life.
There you will see an array of beautiful flowers, cacti, trees and greens, as well as learn more about Kahlo’s connection to the natural world. Standing in the various rooms of the Conservatory makes you feel like you are in a living painting.
The second part of the exhibit can be found in The LuEsther T. Mertz Library’s Art Gallery. Kahlo is perhaps best known for her self-portraits, but she also completed many portraits of others, still lifes, and personal scenes.
Fourteen of her works are on display in the Garden’s Art Gallery. According to NYBG, the paintings were selected for their use of complex and detailed plant imagery and come from museums and private collections in Mexico and the United States.
The exhibit will be open through November 1st. It pays to make a day trip out of your visit because, aside from the exhibit, you can enjoy just walkng around the Gardens. If you go on the weekend, I’d recommend going to the art exhibit towards the end of the day. It’s a small room and so crowd control is necessary. Waiting time to get in during the day can go up to an hour. It’s much faster after 3:00pm.