In Dialogue: Diego Rivera
April 9, 2021 – March 31, 2022
Focus Gallery in the Mark and Janeth Sponenburgh Gallery
Diego Rivera, La ofrenda (The Offering), 1931, oil on canvas, 48 ¾ x 60 ½ in. Art Bridges. Photo courtesy of Christie’s Images Limited 2017.
Diego Rivera’s painting La ofrenda (1931) forms the centerpiece for the museum’s newest In Dialogue exhibition organized by Curator of Collections and Exhibitions Jonathan Bucci, and on view in the Focus gallery through March 2022. This ongoing series of small exhibitions pairs loans of artworks by major internationally recognized artists with artworks from the museum’s permanent collection. “La ofrenda” is accompanied by a selection of prints by nationally recognized Mexican American artists that include Alfredo Arreguin, Carmen Lomas Garza, Enrique Chagoya, and Rupert Garcia.
Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886-1957) was one the most important Modernist painters during the first half of the 20th century and was married to Surrealist artist Frida Kahlo. Known for both his paintings and large scale murals, Rivera often depicted scenes of traditional Mexican culture and history as well as Social Realist images of the worker.
In La ofrenda, three figures gather at an altar to honor the dead. Rivera’s scene depicts el Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), a Mexican celebration in which the deceased are invited to commune with the living through an altar set with welcoming offerings. Through the composition, Rivera creates an implied ring that connects the figures to the altar, suggesting the circle of life that unites the living with the dead. It is a quintessential Rivera painting and will be on view at the museum through March 2022.
La ofrenda by Diego Rivera is on loan through Art Bridges, a foundation that acquires and lends outstanding works of American art to small and medium sized museums throughout the country. Started in 2017 by art collector and philanthropist Alice Walton, Art Bridges aims to place loans and support programming in communities with limited access to major works of American art.