NEW YORK CITY — Mexican artist Frida Kahlo’s painting “Two Nudes in a Forest” was auctioned on Friday, May 13th for $8 million USD.
The auction was conducted by the house Christie’s in New York, and this selling price broke the Latin American artwork record, previously owned by Oaxacan painter Rufino Tamayo, with his painting “El Trovador,” which was auctioned in 2008 at $7.2 million USD.
Two Nudes in a Forest was painted in 1939, after the Mexican painter performed two solo exhibitions in New York and Paris, the year in which she showed the greatest mastery of her work It only measures 30 cm wide by 25 cm long, and is considered one of the most personal paintings of Kahl. It’s painted on metal and was recently exhibited in the New York Botanical Garden last year.
Frida Kahlo has about 400 works, including 255 drawings, watercolors and votive offerings, and the collectors’ great interest in her work is due to the fact that there are not many pieces on the market.
Besides, of the 145 paintings Kahlo made, half of them are in museums and private collections of Mexico, and they can’t be sold outside the country, since in 1984 the artist’s work was declared Artistic Heritage of the nation.
The Mexican painter achieved a considerable international fame, especially after the 1970´s when feminists in Germany and the United States projected her as an icon of their movement, because of her great strength as a woman.
Frida Kahlo is a Mexican character that has inspired exhibitions, books, fashion line products, documentaries, motion pictures, dance and theater shows, and that is why her work is so highly acclaimed worldwide.
Kahlo’s most expensive painting on auction to date was “Roots”, which reached $5.6 million USD in 2006, and according to Helga Prignitz-Poda, a German researcher quoted in an article by Mexican newspaper Milenio, “It is a fine work of art, full of symbolic appeal, it is one of the most interesting paintings made by Kahlo for mystical reasons, it is enigmatic, mysterious and subject to various interpretations.”
It is noteworthy that before the auction, the painting had been requested on loan from the Philadelphia Museum of Art for the exhibition “Paint the revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910-1950”, which will open October 2016, and later will be taken to the Palace of Fine Arts in Mexico City in 2017. So, many will have the chance to admire this valuable painting before it becomes part of a private collection.
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