Diego Rivera murals reunited after 80 years

Fri Nov 11, 2011 2:52pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Walker Simon

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Five murals by Mexican artist Diego Rivera will go on display on Sunday in a new exhibit that reunites works that struck a chord across a broad social spectrum when they were unveiled during the Great Depression.

The works, which were first shown in 1931 and 1932, are the highlight of "Diego Rivera, Murals for The Museum of Modern Art," which runs through May 14.

The murals were painted at MOMA, which sold all but one. Museum director Glenn Lowry said the works, particularly "Frozen Assets," still find resonance today.

"What is interesting about Rivera today is how prescient his observations about New York 80 years ago were," he said.

"There is no better metaphor for what is taking place with the various Occupy Wall Street movements around the country and the world than the stratification that is revealed in Rivera's painting, which shows you the homeless juxtaposed with bank vaults and the wealthy," he said..

Weighing nearly 700 kg (1540 pounds), "Frozen Assets" was flown to New York after being removed from its home at the Dolores Olmedo Museum in Mexico City.

The show's other murals, "Electric Power" and "The Uprising" were also brought for the show from Rivera's native Mexico and are rejoining the U.S.-held "Agrarian Leader Zapata" and "Indian Warrior."

"Frozen Assets" depicts the New York skyline above tightly packed ranks of faceless and sleeping homeless men. Underneath is a spacious bank vault. Fashionably-dressed women wait with an elderly man who resembles John D. Rockefeller Jr, according to the show's curator Leah Dickerman, adding that the craggy profile of the bank clerk brings to mind John D. Rockefeller Sr.   Continued...

<p>"The Uprising" By Diego Rivera is seen in a handout photo. REUTERS/MOMA/Handout</p>