Frida Kahlo arrives for the first time at the Venice Biennale

Frida Kahlo arrives for the first time at the Venice Biennale

Diego and I (1949) by Frida Kahlo belonging to the Eduardo F. Costantini Collection is on display starting tomorrow at the 60th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale. It is the first work by the Mexican artist to be presented at the international art meeting that has taken place since 1895. In addition, the founder of the museum lent works by Emilio Pettoruti and Rosa Rolanda and Malba three pieces by the artists Diego Rivera, Lidy Prati and Clorindo Testa.

Malba announces the loan of “Diego and I” (1949) by Frida Kahlo (Coyoacán, 1907–1954) to the Biennale Arte 2024 “Foreigners everywhere”, curated by the Brazilian Adriano Pedrosa. It is an emblematic work of the artist, which in November 2021 set a new record for Latin American art when Eduardo F. Costantini acquired it.

Since September 2022, the piece gave the title and formed a prominent part of the exhibition “Third Eye. Costantini Collection in Malba”, which brought together the museum's masterpieces in dialogue with the recent acquisitions of Eduardo F. Costantini. The work was presented publicly for the first time in Argentina after more than 25 years of remaining outside the international exhibition circuit.

“Diego and I” is the last self-portrait bust painted by Frida Kahlo before her death in 1954, in which the face of her husband Diego Rivera appears as a third eye that reveals the obsession and suffering of the artist. Her arrival at the museum was recorded in the short documentary “As strange as you” that is available on YouTube.

In the words of Eduardo F. Costantini: “It is the first time that a work by Frida is exhibited in the oldest biennial in the world. Frida is a brilliant artist, not only for the technical ability of her portrait, but for having made her image her autobiography. Regarding “Diego and I”, he added: "This work testifies to the love she has for Diego. It represents him in a very dramatic moment. He expresses anguish, with the hair that wraps around her neck like a suffocating situation, the tears and "Diego in his thinking with three eyes," highlights the collector who, with his acquisitions and loans, actively collaborates in the positioning and visibility of Latin American art in the world.

In addition to the painting by Frida Kahlo, the works “The One with the Green Fan” (1919) by Emilio Pettoruti and “Tehuana” (1940) by Rosa Rolanda from the Costantini Collection and three works loaned by Malba traveled to Venice: “Portrait by Ramón Gómez de la Serna” (1915) by Diego Rivera, “Serial Composition” (1948) by Lidy Prati and “Pintura o Círculo negro” (1963) by Clorindo Testa, the last two installed on Lina's famous glass easels Bo Bardi. Kahlo, Pettoruti, Rolanda, Rivera, Prati and Testa are part of the 114 Latin American artists exhibited out of a total of 331 artists. The works were chosen by Adriano Pedrosa, the first curator from Latin America in the history of the Biennale.

Along with the announcement of these loans, Eduardo F. Costantini announced his latest acquisition. This is the sculpture “Bachué” (1925) by the Indo-American artist Rómulo Rozo, one of the main founding works of Colombian modernism.



Eduardo F. Costantini Collection

Frida Kahlo
Diego and I, 1949
Oil on masonite

Emilio Pettoruti
The one with the green fan, 1919
Oil on canvas
95.2 x 50.8cm

Rosa Rolanda
Tehuana, 1940
Oil on canvas
61.5 x 51cm


Malba Collection

Diego Rivera
Portrait of Ramón Gómez de la Serna, 1915
Oil on canvas
110.5 x 90.5cm

Lidy Prati
Serial composition, 1948
Oil on hardboard
75.5 x 55.8cm

Clorindo Testa
Painting or Black Circle, 1963
Oil on canvas
150.3 x 150.1cm