Photo: Fanny Rabel (El Universal)
“She was recognized in her day; over the decades, however, she was relegated because of the stature of the three greats of Mexican art,” the exhibit’s curator, Ana Torres, told Efe, referring to Rivera, Kahlo and David Alfaro Siqueiros.
The exhibit, inaugurated Wednesday at this capital’s Ibero-American University, marks the first-ever presentation of 90 works by the painter, who used art to denounce social problems such as poverty and urban sprawl.
In addition to paintings, portraits and murals, the exhibit includes letters written by Rabel, documents from her archives and other items of interest.
Torres said the painter, who was born Fanny Rabinovich in Poland in 1922 and died in 2008, explored “universal” subjects such as women, the city and bureaucracy.
Other frequent themes in the artist’s work were maternity - with a particular focus on the intimate relationship between mother and son - and the way in which Mexico celebrates death.
Rabel met Kahlo (1907-1954) at Mexico City’s National School of Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking and borrowed from that artist her vibrant use of color.
She also assisted Rivera (1886-1957) with the murals he created for Mexico City’s National Palace.
The exhibit, titled “Para participar en lo justo: recuperando la obra de Fanny Rabel” (To Be a Part of What’s Right: Recovering the Work of Fanny Rabel), a reference to an expression frequently found in the artist’s writings, will be open to the public through Oct. 11.