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Nancy Spero 1926-2009 by:Janet Aleman

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Janet Aleman

on 14 June 2013

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Transcript of Nancy Spero 1926-2009 by:Janet Aleman

Spero is a pioneer of feminist art.
Her work draws imagery and subject matter from current and historical events such as the torture of women in Nicaragua, the extermination of Jews in the Holocaust, and the atrocities of the Vietnam War. Spero samples a rich range of visual sources of women as protagonists—from Egyptian hieroglyphics,in the seventeenth-century French history painting, and Frederick’s of Hollywood lingerie advertisements.
her art focused on the struggle of women everywhere, she began to ascertain the particular struggle in the United States as the art world consistently and continuously resists the work of women artists. Thus, she became one of the co-founders of the A.I.R. (Artists In Residence) Gallery in New York City in 1972, the very first collective of women artists in the U.S.
Nancy Spero
August 24, 1926 – October 18, 2009
Nancy Spero was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1926. She received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1949, And a honorary doctorates from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1991 and Williams College in 2001.
Spero lived in New York City during her life She was married to, and collaborated with artist Leon Golub.
Family group
Great Mother & Child
Black and red bull 1994
Maypole/take no prison 2007
The Hours of the night II
Masha Bruskina/Gestapo victim
Azur detail
Azur can be seen as a lyrical voyage through a sky, which is always changing in its constellations.
For Spero, the sky represents a continum of experience, mood and meaning.
To Spero’s previous delicate and fugitive frescos, the surface in Azur is highly saturated in color and texture. Azur is monumental in scale, its thirty-nine horizontal sections representing five years in the making. Intensifying the sense of cinema, the artist employs panoply of characters that appear and reappear in other works.
"Girls, Girls, Girls" (2001)
"I suppose I felt doomed to be an artist early on because of the way I drew all over the books that I needed for school, from ancient history to math. I was more interested in drawing in the margins than actually doing the work." by: Nancy Spero

In her return from Europe in 1964, Spero was deeply disturbed by the horrific images of violence emerging out of both the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. She joined with Artists and Writers Protest Against the War in Vietnam and it was this involvement that began Spero’s political activism and produced one of her most famous collections of work, “The War Series.” She dedicated her time and her art during the years between 1966 and 1970, which are a particular expression of her rage at the oppression and violence of the war. This same rage continued and showed in her paintings such as, “Torture in Chile” (1974) and “Torture of Women” (1976). These were direct protests against both the historical repression of women and the brutality directed towards women by Latin American dictatorships.

The war series 1966-1970
touture of women 1976
Spero’s art has depicted women in many forms, but always from the basis of the political, and with the necessity to move the female figure away from the entrenched “male gaze” – creating a woman’s art, from and for a woman’s vision. Her insistent political engagement with women’s issues has given us such color prints as “We Are Pro-Choice”(1992), As an American-Jewish woman, Spero’s work has also focused historically on Jewish women, including those whose bodies and spirits were violated during Nazi Germany. Spero has spoken up for the tortured and “disappeared” women in the male dominated, war torn cultures of Latin America.
Nancy Spero’s work is featured in many galleries including the Whitney Museum, the Jewish Museum, and the Studio Museum in Harlem and at the NYC MOMA.

She died on Sunday in Manhattan. She was 83 and lived in Manhattan. she died of an infection leading to respiratory problems that caused heart failure.
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