London Show Celebrates the Love Relationships of 20th Century Art Stars

Featuring Kahlo and Rivera, Krasner and Pollock, and Kusama and Cornell.

Frida Kahlo Autorretrato (1940). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery.
Frida Kahlo Autorretrato (1940). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery.

From today, London’s Ordovas Gallery is presenting the exhibition “Artist and Lovers” featuring artworks that were made at the time of or about the relationships and friendships shared between Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, Yayoi Kusama and Joseph Cornell, and Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, among other great 20th century artists.

Could this be the perfect autumn date night?

Cy Twombly Untitled (1961). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery

Cy Twombly, Untitled (1961). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery.

Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo met when she went to see the beloved mural painter as an art student looking for guidance. They went on to marry in 1929, divorce in 1939 and marry again shortly afterwards. It was after they re-married that Kahlo painted the self-portrait that is being show at Ordovas, which was commissioned for $500 by engineer Sigmund Firestone. The work is being shown with a photograph of Rivera at the time.

Yayoi Kusama Hat (1962). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery

Yayoi Kusama Hat (1962). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery.

Yayoi Kusama met Joseph Cornell, who was 26 years her senior, in New York as she was beginning to find success as an artist. Kusama described their relationship as passionate and platonic and when Cornell passed away in 1972, Kusama created a series of works in tribute to him, including Hat (1962), which are on view with Cornell’s Soap Bubble Set (1948).

Jospeh Cornell Soap Bubble Set (1948). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery

Jospeh Cornell Soap Bubble Set (1948). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery.

Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner met as she was one of the founder members of the American Abstract Artists group. They met in 1936 and helped him find success and the painting techniques that made him famous. They married in 1945 and moved to Long Island, where Pollock honed his drip painting style. Krasner’s Mr Blue (1966) is hung with Pollock’s (Silver Square) (1950), which she hung in her apartment until she died in 1984.

Lee Krasner Mister Blue. Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery

Lee Krasner,  Mister Blue. Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery.

Also on view are works by Elaine and Willem de Kooning and works created against the backdrop of the relationships of Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Cy Twombly with John Cage and Merce Cunningham.

Jackson Pollock (Silver Square) (1950). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery

Jackson Pollock (Silver Square) (1950). Photo courtesy Ordovas Gallery

Artists and Lovers“ is on view at Ordovas Gallery in London from September 16 – October 29, and then will be on view in New York from November 2016 – January 2017.


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