Books: The Wound and the Brush

FRIDA by Hayden Herrera; Harper & Row; 507 pages; $21.95

Frida, a biography of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo (1907-54), is a mesmerizing story of radical art, romantic politics, bizarre loves and physical suffering that raises the question, Why hasn't someone told it all before? Part of the answer is that Kahlo was the wife of Diego Rivera, the muralist and cultural provocateur who overshadowed nearly everybody and everything he touched. He would, in fact, have dominated this book about his wife if Biographer and New York Art Critic Hayden Herrera had not...

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