press release

“I decided to view women and men by representing women, not just to reverse conventional history, but to see what it means to view the world through the depiction of women.” Nancy Spero

The figurative art of Nancy Spero (1926–2009), American artist, activist and pioneer of feminist art, is defined by the reality of political violence. The exhibition, whose core is made up of the artist’s prints from the Collection of the International Centre of Graphic Arts, provides an insight into a part of her creative body of work spanning from the eighties to the beginning of the new millennium. The artist used experimental and ephemeral printmaking techniques to express herself. Her complex works establish a relationship between the image of the body, the societal context and the collective identity, exploring the historical role and position of women, whilst tying war, violence, victims as well as the ecstatic celebration of the cycle of life into a timeless chronicle. The art of Nancy Spero challenges the dogmatic, it is the antithesis of the hierarchical and calls for a balanced society.

Nancy Spero was an American artist, feminist and activist, who was born in 1926 in Cleveland in Ohio, and died in 2009 at the age of 83 in New York. Between 1949 and 1950 she studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago as well as at the École des Beaux-Arts and the Atelier André L'Hote in Paris. Already as a young artist, she rejected the dominant American abstract expressionism and pop art, becoming an active campaigner for the rights of women and particularly women artists in America. She was part of the Art Workers Coalition (AWC), joined the Women Artists and Revolution (WAR) group that organized protests against the sexist and racist policies of the New York museums at the end of the sixties and, together with others, established A.I.R., the first women’s gallery in New York in 1972. During her life, Nancy Spero held more than one hundred solo exhibitions and participated in twice as many group and thematic shows. Her works are included in the collections of many prominent museums and galleries, universities and other institutions around the world.

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Nancy Spero. The Body

Nancy Spero