In June, after months of anticipation, an extraordinary Frida Kahlo exhibition at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum opened to the public. In addition to its impressive collection of 200 artifacts, Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up has been praised for its beautiful design, which photographer Jack Hobhouse has captured in a series of stunning installation photos.
Designed by award-winning architecture practice Gibson Thornley and talented set designer Tom Scutt, Making Her Self Up showcases a modern approach to exhibition planning. In juxtaposition with the ornate and intricate aesthetic of Kahlo’s clothing, accessories, and other possessions, the space imagined by Gibson Thornley is minimal; this, according to the studio, “forms the backdrop for an intimate experience with Frida’s personal objects.”
Contrarily, while the galleries’ minimalist silhouettes contrast the collection itself, Scutt’s theatrical lighting reflects Kahlo’s colorful persona. By combining these aesthetics, the design team has created a space that “brings together the world of arts and architecture,” and echoes the duality that has come to define the artist.
“The duality of Frida’s life is a running theme throughout the gallery design,” Gibson Thornley notes in a press release. “Her strong outward image and her disability, as well as her Mexican identity and her European ancestry.”