Arts & Culture Newsletter: Frida Kahlo painting sold for $ 39 million, but you can see her work at SDMA


Hello and welcome to the UT Arts & Culture newsletter.

I am David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all the essentials in San Diego arts and culture this week.

Frida kahlo – the woman at $ 39 million. This is the price of one of the last self-portraits of the legendary Mexican painter sold at auction last month at Sotheby’s in New York. Fittingly, the 1949 portrait titled “Diego y yo” depicts Kahlo with an image of a husband. Diego rivera painted on his forehead.

“They were a couple who understood each other from the start,” said Roxana Velasquez, executive director of the San Diego Museum of Art. “There was intellectual admiration but also human tenderness and respect that the two had for each other. It was something very, very deep.

Kahlo and Rivera’s works, both on loan, can be viewed through April 2022 at SDMA in Balboa Park. Kahlo’s is ‘The Hammer and Sickle’ from the 1950s, a painted plaster body evoking her fiery political beliefs and depicting the unborn baby within her. (Kahlo was never able to have a child.) “It’s really a touching and very revealing part of her life,” Velasquez said. “She was such a complex woman, in brain and soul.”

“Hammer and sickle (and unborn baby)” created circa 1950, by Frida Kahlo

(Courtesy of the San Diego Museum of Art)

This complexity partly explains what Velasquez described as an ongoing “Frida-mania” in the art world.

Rivera’s 1952 “Portrait of Enriqueta G. Davila” is also on display in the museum. “This portrait is full of very Diego Rivera iconographic elements,” said Velasquez. “For example, he paints (Davila, a woman from the world of Baja California) in a human size larger than life, and he chooses to represent her with a dress typical of the Jalisco region of Mexico instead of in the European Costume. of the time.

It was a bus crash in 1925, four years before her passionate but stormy marriage to Rivera, which likely prevented Kahlo from bearing a child. She once said: “There have been two big accidents in my life. One was the chariot and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.

Classical music

Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, is home to both the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera. It should also be a part of your home as it offers a plethora of online programs, especially for classical music lovers. Your digital gateway is ONS at home.

Free archive content, most of this year, lets you choose how much time you want to invest on a given visit. You can spend three minutes with Ray Chen and the ONS performing the third movement of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto, or three minutes enjoying the on-site orchestra at Mount Vernon playing part of Vivaldi’s “Winter” in his “ Four Seasons ”, or half an hour with the ONS Youth Concert last spring.

If you have an afternoon or evening on your own, don’t skip the nearly three-hour video of the 1962 “American Pageant of the Arts,” a fundraising show that included performances by Van Cliburn, the opera contralto Marian Anderson and a 7-year-old Yo-Yo Ma.

To dance

the Jacob’s pillow dance center in the beautiful Berkshires of Massachusetts has announced performances scheduled for its 2022 summer festival. But for now, there is dancing galore for streaming on the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Interactive site.

Archival video performances date back decades, with luminaries such as Mikhail Baryshnikov at Jacob’s Pillow in 1995 among the dozen available. Short “Playlist” videos feature Hispanic and Latin artists, spirituals and more. There is also a podcast you can listen to called “PillowVoices: Dances Through Time”.

music Festival

Avant-garde musicians concerned with improvisation of the jazz and classical genres will perform as part of the New Jersey-based music label Ambulance on fire streaming new year’s day festival. The All Day Music Show starts at 9 a.m. on Saturday, so if you want to catch it – and have at least $ 20 (minimum donation) to spend – don’t stay awake too late on New Years Eve.

To give you an idea of ​​the festival’s international variety, performers include Grammy-winning jazz bassist Eric Revis of the Branford Marsalis Quartet, Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado and Indonesian experimental group Senyawa.

Television

Carole King sings during a concert at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

Carole King sings during a concert at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

I had the chance to see Carole King and James Taylor in concert in 2010 at the Hollywood Bowl. Their musical careers are forever linked, not only through Taylor’s recording of King’s “You’ve Got A Friend”, but also through numerous collaborations on stage and a close friendship that stretches back 50 years.

Sunday at 9 p.m., CNN will preview a new concert documentary: “Carole King & James Taylor: Just call my name.” The film documents the couple’s 2010 tour that marked 50 years since their first performance together at LA Troubadour. And yes, this is the same tour I took that May night at the Bowl.

Remember Jeanne

Author Joan Didion in her New York apartment on September 26, 2005.

Author Joan Didion in her New York apartment on September 26, 2005.

(Kathy Willens / Associated Press (file))

Last February in this space I recommended the Netflix documentary “The center will not hold”, Knowing only his subject at the time, the remarkable writer Jeanne Didion, would have disappeared less than a year later. If you’ve read and admired Didion’s insightful and lawless work but missed this movie, it’s still available to stream.

Better yet, revisit among his books “The Year of Magical Thinking” or “Slouching Towards Bethlehem” or “Play It As It Lays”. As for the latter, if you’ve never seen the flawed but compelling 1972 film adaptation of “Play It As It Lays” starring Tuesday Weld, it’s on YouTube from start to finish.

Looking back on 2021

For the end of the year of the arts, look back

For the end of the year of the arts, look back

From books and music to dance, performing and the visual arts, here are our favorite things of 2021 – take a look at our annual review of the past year in the arts.

Year at the theater

Kory LaQuess Pullam and Deja Fields at "1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas" at New Village Arts.

Kory LaQuess Pullam and Deja Fields in “1222 Oceanfront: A Black Family Christmas” at New Village Arts.

(New Arts of the Village)

Since 2003, the San Diego Theater Critics Circle has collectively honored local theater productions, artists and designers at the annual Craig Noel Awards. But for the second year in a row, the annual rewards program has been canceled due to the pandemic.

Instead, Critics’ Circle members like UT theater critic Pam Kragen are writing their own top 10 list to honor a job that might otherwise go unnoticed a year from now when even reopening the doors was a Herculean accomplishment. Here’s a look back at 10 favorite shows and performances at the San Diego Theater in 2021.

UCTV

University of California Television invites you to take advantage of this special selection of programs from across the University of California. Descriptions courtesy and text written by UCTV staff:

“LSD and the war on memories”: Beginning in the 1950s, the United States embarked on an elaborate program to study how LSD could be used to modify the behavior of an enemy. This collaboration between universities and government has led to amazing studies without worrying too much about the ethics of experimentation. Joel E. Dimsdale, MD, describes how this research program evolved and shares vivid examples of its impact on science and society.

“The Lemon Grove Incident and the Training of a History Teacher”: More than 20 years before Brown’s landmark decision against the Board of Education, a small Mexican community in Lemon Grove fought and guaranteed their children the right to an equal education. Luis Alvarez, PhD, professor of history at UC San Diego, grandson of the plaintiff in Roberto Alvarez against the Lemon Grove School District board of directors, explains how his family’s story shaped his worldview and his career path.

“Combating Systemic Racism in Health Care”: The pernicious nature of racial and ethnic inequalities demands a long-term commitment to change through education, systems change and individual action. Last year, during the COVID-19 pandemic and reeling from the tragic death of George Floyd, UCSF launched the Anti-Racism Initiative to address the impact of systemic racism on health, care health and life expectancy of Blacks, Aboriginals and other people of communities of color (BIPOC). This series introduces the leaders of the Anti-Racism Initiative UCSF and discusses the impact and opportunity of this work for all.

And finally … The best events of the weekend

The Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Show returns to the San Diego Civic Theater on December 30.

The Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Show returns to the San Diego Civic Theater on December 30.

(Matt Christine)

Here are the main events happening in San Diego from Thursday, December 30 through Sunday, January 2. Please check the websites for the latest health protocols and / or cancellations.


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