Freezing Our Assets Off!

by articulatenyc

Diego Rivera. Frozen Assets. 1931-32. Fresco on reinforced cement in a galvanized-steel framework, 94 1/8 x 74 3/16 in (239 x 188.5 cm). Museo Dolores Olmedo, Xochimilco, Mexico © 2011 Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, México, D.F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

80 years ago, the Museum of Modern Art exhibited its second retrospective ever – an exhibition of the murals of Diego Rivera. These murals showcased the artist’s abilities as a painter, in addition to solidifying his role as  an international political activist. Specifically for the exhibition, Rivera painted five large-scale murals illustrating the social and political turmoil taking place in Mexico during the early 1930s. In addition to these works, Rivera also completed three murals which depicted the lifestyle and landscape of depression-era New York City (including my personal favorite, Frozen Assets). Currently on view at the MoMA is Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art, which is an exhibition of the aforementioned murals, along with working drawings, watercolors, and prints also by Rivera. Additionally, the exhibition features preliminary sketches of Rivera’s infamous Rockefeller Center mural, which was destroyed because of its inclustion of an image of Vladimir Lenin. Because of their large scale, the murals are eye-catching and incredibly striking. They are also particularly apt, given our current political climate (see: Time Magazine’s Person of the Year). The exhibition is on view through May 14, 2012.