March 22, 2017

Crossing Borders

How the DMA’s latest exhibit aims to build connections

Regardless of your political views, there’s one thing we can agree on: the current state of affairs is divisive. This cultural climate makes the new exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art not only a pleasure, but a necessity.

Mexico 1900–1950: Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, José Clemente Orozco, and the Avant-Garde has made Dallas its first and only stop in the United States. Previously on view at Paris’s Grand Palais, it showcases almost 200 paintings, sculptures, photographs, films, and murals created during the country’s artistic Renaissance.

While the exhibit celebrates its headlining artists, it also includes those lesser known to a wider audience. Women artists are prominent. The devoted section (“Strong Women”) includes Frida Kahlo (of course), model/poet/painter Nahui Olin, and Rosa Rolanda, whose surrealist self-portrait (1952, above) has become a banner piece for the show.

As a whole, the works help illustrate Mexico’s role in the era’s international avant-garde movement during the first half of the 20th century. But perhaps more importantly, they show how the Mexican Revolution and a vibrant (and sometimes violent) shared history shaped the country’s identity.

“You’ll be able to see the reasons why Mexico feels proud of its culture,” says Mexico’s Secretary of Culture María Cristina García Cepeda. “Art and culture are the most effective and fruitful dialogues where nations meet. Against walls, culture can be a bridge of understanding.”

The Details: Now on view through July 16. Visit dma.org for details on upcoming events, including DMA Family Days.