Most Phoenicians have had a clever friend who once filled in the space between her eyebrows and dressed like Mexican painter Frida Kahlo for Halloween. That's how iconic Kahlo's surrealistic self-portraits have become in the more than half-century since her death. And most of us can recognize the mural work of Kahlo's infamous communist and amorist husband, Diego Rivera. But the husband and wife pair werent the only ones responsible for the birth of Modernism in Mexico.
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The exhibit Modern Mexican Painting from the Andrés Blaisten Collection, which makes its U.S. debut at the Phoenix Art Museum on Friday, July 1, goes beyond the Kahlos to include 80 paintings created by innovative Mexican artists such as José Clemente Orozco, Fernando Castillo and Carlos Orozco Romero. While the show does include portraiture and works by Diego Rivera, the traditions represented range from Renaissance folk art and still-life to the gritty urban works of Emilio Baz Viaud and Manuel Rodríguez.