Frida, Diego, and Drinks: A Morning with James Oles
Saturday, August 27
10:00am – 11:00am
$10 for Members
$5 Member Youth (17 & Under)
$25 for Adults
$10 Youth (17 & Under)
*Ticket includes general museum admission. Add optional, timed-entry ticket to see Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, & Mexican Modernism by calling us at 918-748-5300 during regular museum hours.
Enjoy a mimosa, then head to the theater to hear internationally renowned scholar and curator James Oles speak in-depth about two of the most fascinating paintings in Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism.
More about the presentation:
Saguaros and Tehuanas: New Readings of Rivera’s Landscape with Cactus and Kahlo’s Diego on My Mind
This talk provides fresh interpretations of two of the most important works in the Gelman Collection: Diego Rivera’s Landscape with Cactus (1931), based on his trips through the Sonora Desert, and Frida Kahlo’s Diego on My Mind (1943), a self-portrait in which she wears the ceremonial costume of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. Rivera’s humorous picture animates the saguaro cactus, a popular culture icon revisited by Walt Disney in the 1940s. Kahlo’s more serious self-portrait fits within a longer history of cross-cultural cross-dressing, in which urban women dressed in Indigenous styles. Although visually unrelated, the paintings testify to the intense relationship between the two artists: Rivera gave Kahlo the landscape early in their marriage, and she placed his portrait on her forehead a decade later, after their divorce and remarriage.
More on the speaker:
James Oles is a specialist in Latin American art, focusing on modern Mexican art and architecture, through museum as well as academic projects. His books include South of the Border: Mexico in the American Imagination, 1914-1947 (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1993) and Art and Architecture in Mexico (Thames & Hudson, 2013), the first survey of its kind in some fifty years, and a monograph on the color photographs of Manuel Alvarez Bravo. His current project, Diego Rivera’s America, an in-depth exploration of the artist’s work of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, opened at the San Francisco Museum of Art in July, and travels to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in March 2023. He edited the fully-illustrated scholarly catalogue that accompanies the show.
He received his PhD from Yale in 1996, and since then has divided his time between the US and Mexico: he is Senior Lecturer in the Art Department at Wellesley College, and in 2002 was appointed adjunct curator of Latin American art at the Davis Museum, where he advises on exhibitions and the permanent collection. In early 2019 he curated Art_Latin_America: Against the Survey, featuring 150 works by 100 Latin American and Latinx artists in the permanent collection of the Davis Museum; he also edited a major scholarly catalogue for the exhibition, with contributions by 40 scholars from across Latin America and the United States.
As a guest curator, he has organized numerous exhibitions in Mexico and the U.S. Besides Diego Rivera’s America, his ongoing projects include Mexichrome: Color and Photography in Mexico, the first comprehensive history of color photography in Mexico, and a survey of the revival of pre-Columbian forms in decorative arts of the 19th and 20th centuries.
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