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Classical Head. 1898. Oil on canvas. 48.5 x 39.2 cm. Museo Casa Diego Rivera, Guanajuato, Mexico.

Early drawing from Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Credit Rafael Coronel Collection, Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Ramon Gomez de la Serna was a Spanish writer, dramatist and avant-garde agitator. This famous cubist portrait of Ramon Gomez de la Serna, painted in 1915 by Diego Rivera, was lost without trace during the civil war but resurfaced to become the ‘property’ of a Mexican millionaire.

Frida Kahlo‘s paintings reflect a modernist take on folk art and integrate her experience of suffering. Frida Kahlo paintings included self portraits that depicted her physical and emotional pain and suffering. She used a lot of symbolism in her works and borrowed elements from surrealism and naive art.

Frida Kahlo said regarding her painting “”I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration.”

Las bicicletas” (“the bicycles”) outside Mexico City’s Museo de Palacio de Bellas Artes is one of two works created by artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro especially for the museum’s retrospective exhibition of his art.

Navarro‘s work reflects a concern for the negative effects of industrialization and modernization on cities and displays a nostalgia for more humane urban conditions. His large-scale paintings convey a sense of urgency through the use of light and colour, with broad lines and chromatic tones creating dynamic forms that show the influence of Abstract Expressionism.

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