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Devouring Frida: The Art History and Popular Celebrity of Frida Kahlo [Paperback]

Our Price $ 16.96  
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Item Number 93570  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.5" Width: 5.75" Height: 9"
Weight:   0.75 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Feb 28, 1999
Publisher   Wesleyan
ISBN  081956348X  
EAN  9780819563484  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Beginning in the late 1970's Frida Kahlo achieved cult heroine status less for her richly surrealist self-portraits than by the popularization of the events of her tumultuous life. Her images were splashed across billboards magazine ads, and postcards; fashion designers copied the so-called "Frida" look in hairstyles and dress; and "Fridamania" even extended to T-shirts, jewelry, and nail polish. Margaret A. Lindauer argues that this mass market assimilation of Kahlo's identity has consistently detracted from appreciation of her work, leading instead to narrow interpretations based on "an entrenched narrative of suffering." While she agrees that Kahlo's political and feminist activism, her stormy marriage to fellow artist Diego Reviera, and the tragic reality of a progressively debilitated body did represent a biography colored by emotional and physical upheaval, she questions an "author-equals-the-work" critical tradition that assumes a :one-to-one association of life events to the meaning of a painting." In kahlo's case, Lindauer says, such assumptions created a devouring mythology, an iconization that separates us from rather than leads us to the real significance of the oeuvre. Accompanied by 26 illustrations and deep analysis of Kahlo's central themes, this provocative, semiotic study recontextualizes an important figure in art history at the same time it addresses key questions about the language of interpretation, the nature of veneration, and the truths within self-representation.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Frida analysis  Mar 18, 2003
A fascinating perspective and interpretation of some of Frida Kahlo's most famous paintings awaits the reader who has patience. I say patience because the book can be a bit overwhelming with more references than a university thesis. Each page is full of other authors opinions and quotes who author Margaret A. Lindauer does a marvelous job of threading together. She has an agenda in her writing so you will have to follow her arguments. She does a good job of taking a different approach on occacions from such notable Frida biographers as Martha Zamorra and Hayden Herrera, as well some other more obscure contributors. At other times she utilizes their writings to illustrate her points. So what are her points? As Lindauer states, "her investigation has not been directed toward determining "correct" interpretations. Rather I am interested in the consequences of inscribing particular idealogies within distinctinterpretive methodologies, and in consciously selecting theoretical approaches according to the ways in which they revererate with ongoing political negotiations." The reason I quoted such a long passage, actually a sentence and a few words, is because this gives you a flavor for the writing. This style may not be for everyone. Written like a college textbook there are plenty of juxtapostions, binary relationships, patriarchal presciptions, masculinist discourses, dichotomies and paradigmatic feminie qualities to make sure you keep the dictionary close by. These are some of the more common and easier terms used as she really bogs down the discourse with her use of language. I consider myself to have a good vocabulary but found myself seeing words I have never encountered before. Since the rather dense style demands so much attention it is also a book that is best read without distractions. Linduaer reexamines Kahlo and Rivera's relationship, Kahlo's physical and emotional being and the concept of women being sickly, th surrealist movement as prescibed by men, Kahlo's use of Tehuana dress in political terms and eventualy the cult of Fridamania that was so pervasive in the 90's and continues to this day. So is it a good Frida book? Yes and no, no if this where you are beginning your study of Frida Kahlo and yes if you have read most books available and are still "Devouring Frida." All in all it is an interesting examination of Frida but one that will have you scratching your head at times wondering what the heck did she just say. By the same token it is a book that sparks the thought process and lets you know just how esoteric art history can be. Recommended for Fridacoholics only.
THE frida source  Aug 31, 1999
I purchased this book on Frida because I was intersted in learning more about her life/works. After researching several books about Frida, I can clearly state that this is the most detailed book about her works. Whether you have a fascination for Frida Kahlo or you are an art historian wanting to learn more about her exteremly unique paintings, you should buy this book. However, the paintings of Frida are relatively small and are black and white. If you are serious about learning more about Frida I would recommend getting a hold of Frida book that shows her paintings in detail (perhaps The Brush of Anguish by Martha Zamora).

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