Chicago Magazine dug up a most fascinating little piece of art criticism from 1978. Tribune art critic Alan Artner reviewed Frida Kahlo’s first U.S. solo museum exhibition at the MCA and he didn’t like it.
Kahlo led the kind of life that makes for a Ms. Magazine version of the romantic agony … All of this shows up in her art, though after several miscarriages and medically ordered abortions, her primary subject became pain… Keeping in mind that Kahlo’s works were created in a climate that was truly repressive to women, one can only marvel at the courage with which she presented all manner of grisly feminine experience. Yet, while her consciously naïve style depicts these horrors with uncommon directness, her psychological makeup was so intensely self-oriented that she was never capable of pulling back far enough to make a more general statement. By the time Kahlo begins painting herself in necklaces of thorns or with nails and arrows piercing her skin, one realizes that this has become an art of monumental self-pity—an art that will satisfy none by the most caterwauling feminist.
Basically, Frida Kahlo is a pussy. Ew ew ew. What? Isn’t that what all her art is about? Ew, feminism.
Artner was finally laid off in 2009.