New hope for lost Frida Kahlo painting

The Art Newspaper | Natalie Schachar

The hunt for Frida Kahlo’s long-lost painting La Mesa Herida (the wounded table, 1940) has been revived in Mexico, where a researcher says he expects to track it down within five years. The work, a holy grail for Kahlo scholars, went missing after the artist donated it to the former Soviet Union. Last seen in an exhibition in Warsaw in 1955, it disappeared on its way to Moscow. For decades, art historians have scoured archives, customs offices and museums in the Americas and Europe in search of the painting. But Raúl Cano Monroy, an investigator who organised an exhibition at Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo’s Home-Study Museum in Mexico City last year, says he has uncovered new clues after working with the archive of the National Front of Plastic Arts, which promoted Mexican art abroad during the 1950s.

“I think in five years my investigation will bear fruit,” Cano told the Mexico newspaper Milenio, adding that he has found an adviser to help in his research. When contacted by The Art Newspaper, Cano declined to reveal any further details about the evidence he has uncovered. “Given the circumstances, and that I can’t share the information that I have on the topic, I can’t say anything,” he says. However, his optimism has been enough to renew excitement in the decades-old mystery. “It would be very good news,” says Carlos Phillips, a member of the Diego Rivera-Frida Kahlo Trust, about Cano’s promise. “We would appreciate anyone who can find it.”…read more

Image: Bernard Silberstein photographed the artist with La Mesa Herida in 1941, a year after she finished the work