In a beautifully produced book, Nancy Deffebach considers Frida Kahlo's art alongside that of her contemporary María Izquierdo, examining how each used pictorial expression to resist the gendered discourses of Mexican art and nationalism from the 1930s to the 1950s. Acknowledging the important differences between the two artists, Deffebach offers a nuanced interpretation of select paintings focused on themes of womanhood and heroism, landscape and nature, Mesoamerican culture and living indigenous traditions, and the dialectic of tradition and modernity. Her account of Izquierdo and Kahlo's resistance to and reworking of the preponderant image of women as mothers, teachers, and helpmates to male national heroes, as allegories of fertility or, alternately, social disorder, is supported by contextual framing. Crucially, Deffebach resists the tendencies to conflate these women as natural allies or to interpret their imagery as consolidating a unified category of womanhood or...
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Adriana Zavala; María Izquierdo and Frida Kahlo: Challenging Visions in Modern Mexican Art. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 August 2016; 96 (3): 593–595. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00182168-3601946
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