Why Frida Matters: Salomon Grimberg, one of five curators of the Frida Kahlo retrospective that opened at Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City last month, on Kahlo: “She was completely instinctual. She put into art things nobody had dared to put into art before. She was able to access her internal reality and shape it in such a way that it grabs the viewer… Her work is so flashy and so immediate that most people don’t stop to look at her work as a painter,” he added. “ They just get caught up in the image. Finally, after 30 years, the work is being reappraised.”
RIP John Szarkowski: John Szarkowski, the influential MoMA photography curator for 29 years, has died at the age of 81. A celebrated photographer, Szarkowski was perhaps best known for curating the 1967 MoMA exhibition, New Documents, which was the first major show to feature the documentary style imagery of Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander and Garry Winogrand. A New York Times obituary call hims a “curator who almost single-handedly elevated photography’s status in the last half-century to that of a fine art.” Lesser known is Szarkowski’s midwestern roots: born in Ashland, Wisconsin, he studied at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and started his first post-college job — as the Walker Art Center’s photographer. The Walker also hosted Szarkowski’s first solo show, a series of portraits, in 1949.