Frida Kahlo's crutches, Casa Azul, Coyoacán, 2012

Gelatin silver print; 25.4 x 20.3 cm. (10 x 8 in.). Image courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City.


Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute

January 14-19, 2019

“I am not a photographer, yet taking pictures has given me a sense of unity and personal satisfaction. They are relics of my life. Souvenirs of my wandering. All that I have learned concerning light and composition is contained within them.”

– Patti Smith, Land 250, Paris
is an exhibition of photographs by musician, poet, and visual artist Patti Smith. The show bears witness to Smith’s growing inspiration by artistic movements she discovered during her numerous travels to Mexico. Exhibited in the same space as Diego Rivera’s 1931 fresco, The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City, it privileges a direct dialogue between Smith’s imagery and the subject of an intimate regard.

Smith continues her reflection on the act of artistic creation and the alchemy that unites artists together across time and space by referring to a brotherhood of mental bonds that keeps ideas alive. In this way, the artist expresses her kinship and attachment to Mexico, and its prospering artistic community—a feeling demonstrated during her performances and visits to Mexico over the years.

During these trips, Smith has composed and dedicated poetry to figures such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, Isamu Noguchi, Roberto Bolaño, and the habitués of the Café La Habana, which included Octavio Paz and Che Guevara. Each journey continues the discovery into the universe of her luminaries while visiting their studios and homes, admiring their oeuvre, and returning to the places they frequented.

Patti Smith: Wing is co-presented by San Francisco Art Institute and kurimanzutto, Mexico City and New York, in conjunction with FOG Design+Art at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture.