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Modernism in the City of Brotherly Love

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Phil Skinner/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT

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Phil Skinner/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/MCT

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Upon walking through the entrance of this grand exhibit, one ponders the sights they will soon view: Frida Kahlo’s outrageous and unique genius; Diego Rivera’s incomparable artwork; murals and photographs depicting the hardships of the people of Mexico during the Mexican Revolution.

These legendary artists’ work is on display in Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

People from all over the country gather just to catch a glimpse of their awe-inspiring pieces. Tourists and locals can visit this exhibit from October 25th, 2016 to January 8th, 2017, and even if your interest isn’t in art, you may still enjoy experiencing the rich yet painful history of Mexico through these artists’ unique perspectives.

The exhibit takes the viewer step by step through the time of Mexican Modernism, starting in 1910 and ending in 1950. Highlights of the beginning section include vibrant oil paintings of human subjects and mountain scenes; anything can be interpreted.

One moving piece, “Self Portrait in a Velvet Dress,” is a self-portrait of Frida Kahlo depicting her in demure burgundy dress with an elongated neck, foreshadowing the presence of her work later in the exhibit.

Many would assume that the exhibit is limited to Mexican artists, but the exhibit isn’t quite that limited.

One particular artist, Carlos Mérida (1891-1984), was born in Guatemala, but was active as a surrealist in Mexico. His oil painting , entitled “Deer Dance”, is full of expression, and its dark aura stands out among the many colorful works on the surrounding walls. The red circle may seem to be the focal point, but looking at it closely, the head of the deer appears regal compared to the whimsical mess below it.

“Self Portrait,” Mérida’s self-portrait shows signs of the significance of red shown in “Deer Dance.” The geometric shapes in the background of the portrait also mirror those in the previous painting.

Looking at just a few of the great artists who took part in this era of art, one must come to Philadelphia and see this exhibit before it ends. Fret not; there are still three months to visit.

However, time can fly in so few months, so hurry to Philly, meet up with some friends, and buy tickets to this striking representation of Latin American modernist pieces (Admission: youth 13-18: $14, adult: $20).

Even if you can’t make it, visit the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s website to view some of the works of art in this exhibit and encounter Mexican Modernism through the eyes of these artists.

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Modernism in the City of Brotherly Love