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  • "The Heart: Frida Kahlo in Paris" by Marc Petitjean will be published on the 28th of April

"The Heart: Frida Kahlo in Paris" by Marc Petitjean will be published on the 28th of April

10 April 2020

In 1938, just as she was leaving Mexico for her first solo exhibition in New York, Frida Kahlo was devastated to learn from her husband, Diego Rivera, that he intended to divorce her. This latest blow followed a long series of betrayals, most painful of all his affair with her beloved younger sister, Cristina. In early 1939, anxious and adrift, Kahlo traveled from the United States to France—her only trip to Europe, and the beginning of a unique period of her life when she was enjoying success on her own.

Now, for the first time, this previously overlooked part of her story is brought to light in exquisite detail. Marc Petitjean takes the reader to Paris, where Kahlo spends her days alongside luminaries such as Pablo Picasso, André Breton, Dora Maar, and Marcel Duchamp.

Taken from Kathleen Stone's review:

"Marc Petitjean grew up looking at this painting in his father’s house. It frightened him as a child and intrigued him as a teenager. But it took on particular personal significance after a Mexican writer approached him for information about his father’s affair with Kahlo. ... By examining Kahlo’s life and art, finding out what he could about what happened between them, maybe he would understand more about his inscrutable father. With this in mind, he began The Heart: Frida Kahlo in Paris....

The book covers two months in early 1939, when Kahlo was in Paris for an exhibition of her art...

In fluid, sometimes idiosyncratic prose, Petitjean recreates Kahlo’s experiences. He draws from documented facts, but speculates as well. The narrative’s timeline is fractured, its dynamic flashbacks and digressions effectively reflecting a Paris at the denouement of the Spanish Civil War and on the brink of Nazi occupation. Petitjean, a filmmaker and photographer, brings a visual acuity to his writing, vividly describing color and movement as well as artistic and architectural details. That pictorial sense also informs his insights into Kahlo and her work, which is the book’s impressive accomplishment."


Click on the link below to read the complete review