Frida Kahlo stepped into the limelight in 1929 when she married Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. She was twenty-two; he was forty-three. Hailed as Rivera’s exotic young wife who “dabbles in art,” she went on to produce brilliant paintings but remained in her husband’s shadow throughout her life. Today, almost six decades after her untimely death, Kahlo’s fame rivals that of Rivera and she has gained international acclaim as a path-breaking artist and a cultural icon. Cutting through “Fridamania,” this book explores Kahlo’s life, art, and legacies, while also scrutinizing the myths, contradictions, and ambiguities that riddle her dramatic story. Gannit Ankori examines Kahlo’s early childhood, medical problems, volatile marriage, political affiliations, religious beliefs, and, most important, her unparalleled and innovative art. Based on detailed analyses of the artist’s paintings, diary, letters, photographs, medical records, and interviews, the book also assesses Kahlo’s critical impact on contemporary art and culture. Kahlo was of her time, deeply immersed in the issues that dominated the first half of the twentieth century. Yet, as this book reveals, she was also ahead of her time. Her paintings challenged social norms and broke taboos, addressing themes such as the female body, gender, cross-dressing, hybridity, identity, and trauma in ways that continue to inspire contemporary artists across the globe. Frida Kahlo is a succinct and powerful account of the life, art and legacy of this iconic artist. Turmoil and violence have defined the lives of Palestinian people over the last few decades, yet in the midst of the chaos artists live and thrive, creating little-seen work that is a powerful response to their situation. Gannit Ankori's Palestinian Art is the first in-depth English-language assessment of contemporary Palestinian art, and it offers an unprecedented and wholly original overview of this art in all its complexity.
Ankori comprehensively traces the full history and development of Palestinian art, from its roots in folk art and traditional Christian and Islamic painting to the predominance of nationalistic themes and diverse media used today. Drawing on over a decade of extensive research, studio visits, and interviews, Ankori explores the vast oeuvre of prominent contemporary Palestinian artists, navigating between the personal and biographical dimensions of specific artworks and the symbolic meanings embedded within them. She provides detailed interpretations of many works and considers the complex historical, geographical, political, and cultural contexts in which the art was created. Questions of gender, exile, colonialism, postcolonialism, and hybridity are integral to Ankori's investigation as she probes the influence and thematic dominance of issues such as rootedness and displacement in Palestinian art.
Palestinian Art is a fascinating introduction to a virtually unknown visual culture that has been subsumed under the torrent of current political turmoil. A groundbreaking and essential work of art scholarship, Palestinian Art illuminates new and unique facets of the Palestinian cultural identity.