Paul Gauguin (Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin) was a famous French post-impressionist artist who is now recognized by the use of colour and synthetist style of impressionism that was extremely different than any other form of expressionism. The paintings he created towards the end of his life depicted people and or landscapes form the region that he was currently in, which was French Polynesia. Paul Gauguin’s art was not well known while he was alive, but after his death on May 8th, 1903, his work became influential to the French avant-garde along with other artists, such as Picasso and Matisse. Gauguin’s art work was put into exhibitions and organized into two important exhibitions in Paris by Ambroise Vollard. Paul Gauguin was considered to be an important, symbolic figure in the movement as a writer, painter, sculptor, ceramist, and printmaker. He paved the way to Primitivism by the way he expressed the meaning of the subjects of his paintings, and is influential in wood engraving and woodcuts as art forms. One of the most famous paintings that Gauguin painted was called, Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? This paintings is considered the be on of the most famous paintings of Post-Impressionism, and Gauguin painted this piece due to his daughters death earlier that year, which Gauguin tried to commit suicide, but failed. Gauguin explained that this painting was the biggest painting he has created, and says that this painting explains his whole philosophical idea.
Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican, self portrait painter, who painted with a naïve folk style because she wanted to explore question of gender, class, identity, postcolonialism, and race apart of her Mexican culture. Her paintings often mixed realism with fantasy and had autobiographical features, and she is also known as a surrealist. The post-revolutionary Mexicanidad movement was occurring that sought out to identify the Mexican people, Kahlo, being Mexican, became apart of this revolutionary movement.Kahlo continued to be apart of exhibitions in the United States and Mexico throughout the 1940’s.
She started teaching at the Escuela Nacional de Pintura, Escultura y Grabado “La Esmerald”, which is a Mexican art school in Mexico City, and became a founder of the Seminario de Cultura Mexicana (Mexican Culture Seminar). Kahlo was only know as Diego Rivera’s wife before her paintings were discovered, but after she was recognized as a figure in art history, she was also recognized as an icon for Chicanos, feminists, and the LGBTQ movement.After divorcing Rivera, Kahlo moved back to La Casa Azul and started being an artist again. Since she gained courage from the recognition she was getting, she switched from small tin sheets, to large canvases since they were easier to exhibit.
She also changed up her artistic style as well. She adapted a more sophisticated technique, reduced the graphic detailing, and made more quarter-length portraits, which were easier to sell.