Artists & Designers

Nancy Spero (1926-2009)

Nancy Spero was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1926. She attended the University of Colorado, Boulder (1944–1945), received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1949), and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and Atelier André L’Hote in Paris (1949–1950). In 1951, she married the visual artist Leon Golub (b. 1922), and the couple lived in Chicago until 1959, when Spero and Golub moved to Paris where they lived until 1964. Spero led the feminist art movement in the 1960s, when she began producing unapologetic statements against the pervasive abuse of Western privilege and male dominance. Her work frequently draws imagery and subject matter from historical events such as the torture associated with the 1960s and 1970s regimes in Argentina, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and South Africa, as well as the Holocaust and the Vietnam War. Her figures co-exist in nonhierarchical compositions on canvases and scrolls alike, reinforcing the principles of equality and tolerance.

Adapted from

DMA label copy, November 2014.

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