Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo at the Detroit Institute of Arts

Rivera Court - Detroit Institute of Arts

Rivera Court – Detroit Institute of Arts, photo by Trish P.

Crain’s Detroit Business has a report on this Sunday’s DIA opening ‘Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit’:

When Diego Rivera and his wife and fellow artist Frida Kahlo were in Detroit in 1932-33, the worst of the Great Depression was upon the country.

A labor march had just taken place in Detroit, and four workers had been killed, said Mark Rosenthal, adjunct curator of contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, speaking during a media preview of the exhibit Tuesday morning.

Rivera and Kahlo, described by the museum as “an explosive couple” in their own right, arrived on the scene — he carrying a pistol, and she carrying a flask.

He romanticized Detroit, and Kahlo, who suffered a miscarriage while in Detroit, rejected the city, the DIA said.

Yet out of that time came pivotal work for both artists.

Rivera created the “Detroit Industry” murals on the DIA’s walls, which he considered to be his greatest work, Rosenthal said. And Kahlo, encouraged by her husband, began to create the paintings that would typify her career and make her famous.

The DIA’s upcoming “Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit” exhibit, which opens Sunday, will give art enthusiasts a chance to see who the artists were before they came to Detroit and who they were after, Rosenthal said.

Read on for more and get information about the exhibit that runs Sunday through July 12th from the DIA (including an opening lecture Sunday at 2).

View Trish’s photo bigger on Flickr and see more in her Detroit slideshow.

More museums and more art on Michigan in Pictures.

Deco Dance: Leaping Gazelle by Marshall Fredericks

Deco Dance

Deco Dance, photo by MichaelinA2

One of Michigan’s most renowned artists was Marshall Fredericks. He’s well known for the Spirit of Detroit sculpture, but this artist who spent much of his life in Michigan created many public works. Wikipedia’s entry for Marshall Fredericks has this to say about Leaping Gazelle:

This sculpture was the first commissioned work for which Marshall Fredericks was paid. In 1936, the sculpture won first prize in a national competition, and as a result, Fredericks became well known as a public sculptor. Since the gazelle is not native to Michigan, Fredericks made four animals that are, and placed them around the gazelle on Belle Isle. These animals are the otter, grouse, hawk and rabbit. Fredericks sculpted the gazelle in a characteristic movement called wheeling, which is when an animal quickly changes direction while being pursued by a predator.

The Leaping Gazelle is one of the most duplicated of Fredericks’s sculptures.

This particular sculpture is located near the entrance of the Detroit Zoo, one of many Fredericks sculptures on the Detroit Zoo grounds.

Also, I’ve been meaning to post a really cool exhibit that’s currently at the Dennos Museum in Traverse City titled Sketches to Sculptures, Rendered Reality: Sixty Years with Marshall M. Fredericks:

An exhibition of 31 small sculptures and 36 related drawings and sketches that showcases the creative process of Fredericks both as designer and sculptor. From simple pencil sketches to presentation drawings, the creative mind of Fredericks is on display as he transforms two-dimensional ideas on paper into three-dimensional sculptures. While many of the drawings in this exhibition resemble the final sculpture they would become, others only hint at elements of their outcome or point to a different outcome entirely. This exhibition is comprised of four genres that represent most of Fredericks’ work: architectural, commemorative, spiritual and whimsical. The exhibition was organized from the collections of the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum at Saginaw Valley State University.

It includes some very cool maquettes – small, scale models of the finished Fredericks sculptures that are really amazing!

View Michael’s photo on black and see more in his Design, Special Settings, Lifestyle slideshow.

More sculpture on Michigan in Pictures.