NANCY SPERO. Dissidances
Until 24 September 2008
Curators: Manuel J. Borja-Villel and Rosario Peiró
Coproduced by: Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
(MACBA) and Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
(MNCARS) in Madrid
Nancy Spero began painting on canvas in the manner of a traditional male painter, but soon realised that this was an eminently masculine medium, and as such marginalised her as an artist. From then on, she devoted all her efforts to creating a specifically feminine pictorial language to provide women with their own space in which to explore their capacity to communicate. This space, in which canvas is eschewed in favour of fragile paper, is organised around a lexicon of transhistorical and transcultural figures, real and mythological, which, reworked time and again, unmask stereotypes and revolutionise categories and hierarchies. In Spero’s work, movement, rhythm and colour form a grammar that is applied directly onto the body of the woman who, strengthened and full of energy, “feminises” and conquers the masculine art space.
The retrospective exhibition focuses particularly on the artist’s search to create her own language, featuring a highly significant selection from Spero’s production. The intention is to range from Spero’s earliest works on paper, dating to when she was still a student at the Art Institute of Chicago and had as yet shown none, to Maypole 2007, her latest presentation at the Venice Biennial. Moreover, a wall-mounted installation will be specifically adapted for MACBA in which Spero finally eliminates all obstacles between her work and the space in which it is shown.