In fact, her fame eclipses that of her husband Diego Rivera – an exceptional feat that many of her peers did not achieve, regardless of the quality of their own artistic output.
Dora Maar, Pablo Picasso’s lover and muse, was an accomplished artist in her own right before the two even met, but as the bias of history tends to favour the male individual, her acclaimed beau overshadowed her.
A new exhibition in the Barcelona art gallery Mayoral shifts the focus of conventional art history’s narrative about the Surrealist movement. ‘Surrealist Women’ brings to the foreground the work of eight female Surrealist artists, in a bid to bring about “an act of justice and artistic recognition. Our goals are to offer an exhibition of some of their works and to stimulate reflection on these women artists”, says Victoria Comalìa, the exhibition’s curator.
Not only does the exhibition highlight these works by Kahlo, Maar, Valentine Hugo, Lee Miller, Remedios Varo, Ángeles Santos, Maruja Mallo and Leonora Carrington, it also zooms in on these artists’ connection to Catalonia, an historically contested but now autonomous community within Spain.
“The selection of artists has been made according to whether they had Catalan origin, exhibited or travelled around Catalan territory, or had a romantic liaison with a Catalan, as in the case of Frida Kahlo’s passion for Catalan artist Josep Bartolí”, explains Comalìa.