An exhibition of photographs of the acclaimed Mexican artist Frida Kahlo taken by her friend and lover, the internationally renowned portrait photographer Nickolas Muray (1892-1965), will be on view at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery
from May 8 through July 5, 2009. Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray, From the Collection of the Nickolas Muray Archives celebrates Kahlos life and work and comprises approximately fifty color and black-and-white photographs, along with archival material, including excerpts from letters between Kahlo and Muray. The installation in Buffalo will feature Frida Kahlos Self- Portrait with Monkey, 1938, from the Albright-Knox Art Gallerys Permanent Collection.
Born in Hungary in 1892, Nickolas Muray came to the United States in 1913, marking the beginning of his forty-five-year career living and working in New York City. Originally hired by Condé Nast Publications to prepare illustrations for magazines, in 1920 Muray set up a photography studio at his home in Greenwich Village. Following an assignment in 1921 for Harpers Bazaar magazine to photograph the Broadway star Florence Reed, Murays career as a portrait and celebrity photographer took off. Soon he was photographing everybody who was anybody and his work was regularly featured in such publications as Vanity Fair, Vogue, and Ladies Home Journal.
Nickolas Muray and Frida Kahlo first met in Mexico in 1931 and soon began a love affair that lasted ten years and continued as a friendship that endured all their lives. The images included in this exhibition, dating from 1937 to 1940, were taken during the height of the couples on-again, off-again, ten-year love affair. The photographs included were selected from the Nickolas Muray Archives and capture the exotic mystery and proud beauty of Frida Kahlo through the eyes of this accomplished portrait photographer who loved her deeply.