Frida Kahlo in Dallas


© Nickolas Muray, Frida Kahlo, 1939

"If women get the same kick from a pearl necklace as I get from handling this lovely jewel of a camera, I understand their craze!" - From Lucienne Bloch's diary 1928 when speaking of her 1927 Leica Camera.
"Frida Biting her Necklace“, taken in 1933, is a photograph that is present in the collective visual memory, perhaps „the“ iconic portray of the artist by Lucienne Bloch - She was a prolific.
Born in Switzerland, she soon moved with her family to America in midst of the growing tensions of war and anti-Semitism. Lucienne Bloch's father, the Swiss born composer Ernest Bloch, was also a photographer. He and Alfred Stieglitz corresponded, and it was Ernest Bloch who influenced Stieglitz to produce his cloud series. Ernest Bloch's photographic archives rest at The Center For Creative Photography in Arizona. Lucienne was also friends with many photographers during her lifetime: Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Imogen Cunningham, Margaret Bourke White, and others.
At the young age of 15 years, Lucienne Bloch attended The Cleveland Institute of Art and later in life enrolled in the Ecole National et Superier des Beaux Arts in Paris.  Exceeding in her artistic endeavors, she worked for a number of established artist such as sculptor, Anotine Boudelle, and architecture Frank Lloyd Wright.  
By an encounter with the great Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, Bloch was subsequently introduced to Frida, and the two developed a deep friendship. During Diego's turbulent stay in the United States, Bloch became an important figure in Frida's life, helping her overcome a number of obstacles that would later reflect in the artist's most important paintings. Bloch would also document many of Diego's prominent mural works including "Unity Panel" at the New Workers School in New York, 1933, (included in the exhibition) and the only surviving photographs of the controversial Rockefeller Center mural, which was destroyed in 1934. 
Also featured in this exhibition are the vibrant color and black & white photographs of Frida Kahlo by the master photographer and Frida's long time lover, Nickolas Muray (1892-1965). Throughout their ten years on and off affair, Muray would photograph Frida during his visits to Mexico and while she was in New York for her solo exhibition at the Julian Levy Gallery. The images included by Muray reveal the eccentric, colorful and forceful figure that was Frida through both candid moments and studio settings. 
“Photography, fortunately, to me has not only been a profession but also a contact between people - to understand human nature and record, if possible, the best in each individual.“ - Nickolas Muray
Born in Szeged, Hungary, Nickolas immigrated to New York City in 1913. He established himself as a much sought after portrait photographer and freelanced for magazines including Vanity Fair and Harper's Bazaar. In the 1930s his friends included Mexico's Renaissance artists: Miguel Covarrubias, Rufino Tamayo, Diego Rivera and of course, Frida Kahlo, with whom he exchanged love letters.
Muray was also a renowned American fencer, who participated in two Olympic Championships. This handsome and talented artist photographed major personalities in the arts, literature and political worlds. These striking portraits displayed are some of the most beautiful images of this unique artist, Frida Kahlo.
“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
― Frida Kahlo

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