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Nancy Spero

American, 1926–2009

1.4k followers

Nancy Spero

Bio

American, 1926–2009

Followers
1.4k
Biography

A leading figure in the feminist art movement of the 1960s, Nancy Spero explored female sexuality, suffering, and heroism, as well as the horrors of war, in gouache and ink works on paper. Spero drew from ancient mythologies and iconographies to produce her burlesque cast of pagan goddesses, Celtic fertility figures, and Amazon warriors, which she pulled from books on ancient art before manipulating and incorporating them into her own drawings and collages. Her well-known 1966–70 “War” series, produced during the Vietnam years, explored the atrocities of war, a subject Spero revisited in her later career with frieze-like drawings installed around the walls of galleries, depicting masses of screaming figures and helicopters overhead dropping human-shaped bombs. Her work Cri de Coeur (2005) portrays mourning women from ancient Egypt. “I am thinking about the women’s condition, showing victimage or celebratory sexuality in an exaggerated way,” she once said. Spero was married to the late artist Leon Golub, and was a founding member of the feminist A.I.R. gallery, started in 1972.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
New Museum, and 3 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 10 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Biography

A leading figure in the feminist art movement of the 1960s, Nancy Spero explored female sexuality, suffering, and heroism, as well as the horrors of war, in gouache and ink works on paper. Spero drew from ancient mythologies and iconographies to produce her burlesque cast of pagan goddesses, Celtic fertility figures, and Amazon warriors, which she pulled from books on ancient art before manipulating and incorporating them into her own drawings and collages. Her well-known 1966–70 “War” series, produced during the Vietnam years, explored the atrocities of war, a subject Spero revisited in her later career with frieze-like drawings installed around the walls of galleries, depicting masses of screaming figures and helicopters overhead dropping human-shaped bombs. Her work Cri de Coeur (2005) portrays mourning women from ancient Egypt. “I am thinking about the women’s condition, showing victimage or celebratory sexuality in an exaggerated way,” she once said. Spero was married to the late artist Leon Golub, and was a founding member of the feminist A.I.R. gallery, started in 1972.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
New Museum, and 3 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 10 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 3 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 2 more
Shows Featuring Nancy Spero
Articles Featuring Nancy Spero
What Does It Mean to Be Jewish? New York’s Jewish Museum Offers Almost 600 Answers
Feb 2nd, 2018
What Does It Mean to Be Jewish? New York’s Jewish Museum Offers Almost 600 Answers
These 10 Unrealized Artworks Would Have Been Spectacular
Dec 9th, 2016
These 10 Unrealized Artworks Would Have Been Spectacular
Venus Drawn Out: Insights from Curator Susan Harris
Feb 28th, 2014
Venus Drawn Out: Insights from Curator Susan Harris
Spotlight on “Spotlight”, the Crowd Favorite of Frieze Masters
Oct 12th, 2013
Spotlight on “Spotlight”, the Crowd Favorite of Frieze Masters
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