The question of violence is a recurrent theme in the work of Nancy Spero (1926—2009): the violence of war (her memorable War Drawings at the time of the Vietnam War), symbolic or physical violence against women and minorities (she was one of the first to fight publicly for the place of women in the art world), the legitimate violence of resistance movements (against the Nazis, against Pinochet) and poetic and expressive violence (Artaud). Whether she was evoking a specific conflict or producing a transhistorical summary, Nancy Spero knew how to assemble and combine images taken from a variety of sources to produce dynamic works with a force that has remained intact and has now become part of art history.
This exhibition not only includes a 4 meters long frieze, The Warriors, presented unframed as the artist preferred, but also a number of works produced over three decades (1966 to 1996).
Born in Cleveland (Ohio) in 1926, Spero studied in Chicago then in Paris, where she lived from 1959 to 1964 with her husband, the painter Leon Golub. Her works form part of the collections of major international museums including the MoMA, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The National Gallery of Canada, the MNAM Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf; the Reina Sofia, Madrid and more. An exhibition of her work is being presented for the first time in Mexico, at Museo Tamayo, until 17 February 2019. A roaming retrospective retracing her career in detail will open this summer in the Folkwang Museum in Essen, moving to Skärhamn in Sweden then Humlebæk in Denmark and finally Lillehammer in Norway.
Press release courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co. Paris.