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 Nancy Spero  (1926 - 2009)

About: Nancy Spero
 

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Lived/Active: New York/Ohio      Known for: female symbolism, modernist caligraphy, collage

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Ad Code: 3
Nancy Spero
from Auction House Records.
Sans titre
Art © Estate of Nancy Spero/© Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY See Details
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
A non-traditional, revolutionary artist, Nancy Spero focuses her art work on challenging questions about women as artists and women as women.  This subject seemed especially poignant in her paintings in a December 2005 gallery exhibition, Cri du Coeur, in Chelsea, because it closely followed the death of her long-time husband,  Leon Golub.  The exhibition showcased her  "ability to combine hand-painted color with silk-screened images. . . .The color starts out light and shifts to increasingly toxic tones of red, brown, blue and black, shadowing, overtaking and obliterating the figures while also evoking earth, blood, smoke and sorrow." (Smith)

She trained at the Art Institute of Chicago and began in the 1960s as a figurative abstract artist with a political bent.  She worked on paper rather than canvas as a symbol of rebelling against the prescribed methods of the art world and addressed unpleasant themes such as the atom bomb and wars.  She also did collage figures on rice paper that symbolized women's liberation from traditional language into communication that seemed more pertinent.

In the 1970s, Spero began using only female images in her work and juxtaposed text with fragmented bodies of women and addressed issues of women's control over their own bodies.  She posed dichotomies of women who were perfectly safe within domestic bonds and those who were thrown into the world to fend for themselves.

Sources include:
Rebecca Smith, 'Art in Review-Nancy Spero', The New York Times, 11/ 25, 2005, B38
Art in America

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