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Frida Kahlo

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the work, life and times of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.

Born near Mexico City in 1907, Frida Kahlo is considered one of Mexico's greatest artists. She took up painting after a bus accident left her severely injured, was a Communist, married Diego Rivera, a celebrated muralist, became friends with Trotsky and developed an iconic series of self-portraits. Her work brings together elements such as surrealism, pop culture, Aztec and Indian mythology and commentary on Mexican culture. In 1938, artist and poet Andre Breton organised an exhibition of her work in New York, writing in the catalogue, "The Art of Frida Kahlo is a ribbon around a bomb." She was not as widely appreciated during her lifetime as she has since become, but is now one of the most recognised artists of the 20th century.


Patience Schell
Chair in Hispanic Studies at the University of Aberdeen

Valerie Fraser
Emeritus Professor of Latin American Art at the University of Essex


Alan Knight
Emeritus Professor of the History of Latin America at the University of Oxford

Producer: Simon Tillotson.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 9 Jul 2015 21:30


Patience Schell at the University of Aberdeen

Valerie Fraser at the University of Essex

Alan Knight at the University of Oxford

Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life exhibition - The New York Botanical Garden

Art View: Why Frida Kahlo Speaks to the 90s

Frida Kahlo - Wikipedia



Gannit Ankori, Frida Kahlo (Reaktion Books, 2013)

Christina Burrus, Frida Kahlo: ‘I Paint My Reality’ (Thames and Hudson, 2008)

Emma Dexter and Tanya Barson (eds.), Frida Kahlo (Tate Publishing, 2005)

Salomon Grimberg, Frida Kahlo: Song of Herself (Merrell Publishers, 2008)

Hayden Herrera, Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo (first published 1983; Harper Perennial, 2002)

Hayden Herrera, Frida Kahlo: The Paintings (Bloomsbury Publishing, 1993)

Frida Kahlo, Sarah M. Lowe and Carlos Fuentes, The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait (Abrams Books, 2006)

Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti, Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti Exhibition Catalogue (Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1982)

Andrea Kettenmann, Frida Kahlo (Taschen GmbH, 2000)

Patrick Marnham, Dreaming with his Eyes Open: A Life of Diego Rivera (Bloomsbury Publishing, 1998)

Martha Zamora, Frida Kahlo: Brush of Anguish (Chronicle Books, 1990)



Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Patience Schell
Interviewed Guest Valerie Fraser
Interviewed Guest Alan Knight
Producer Simon Tillotson


  • Thu 9 Jul 2015 09:00
  • Thu 9 Jul 2015 21:30

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