Biography

Nancy Spero.

b. 1926 Cleveland, Ohio.

Born 1926, Cleveland, Ohio/Lives and works in New York Since the 1960s, Nancy Spero has been protesting social and political injustice and championing human emancipation through her paintings, prints, drawings, and collages. Figurative representations of the human body and recognizable characters from history, mythology, and pop culture float, dance, and run through Spero's collages. Spero culls her source material from books and media, which she integrates with her own invented imagery, transformations that inspire us to re-imagine the world we inhabit. Her compositions, sometime punctuated by text, draw on diverse artistic traditions including modern posters, illuminated manuscripts, Chinese scrolls, and ancient Greek, Etruscan, and Egyptian friezes. Spero received her BFA from the University of Chicago in 1949 and studied art at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and Atelier André L'Hôte in Paris from 1949-50. Her work has been featured in the following retrospectives: Weighing the Heart Against a Feather of Truth Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Spain (2004) and Nancy Spero: Works Since 1950 (traveled to numerous institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois; List Visual Arts Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada; The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 1987-89). She has had solo exhibitions at Galerie Lelong, Paris (2007, 2004); Overtones, Los Angeles (2005); Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Germany (2002), Barbara Gross Galerie, Munich, Germany (2001); and The Print Center, Philadelphia (2001). Other Worlds: The Art of Nancy Spero and Kiki Smith appeared at the Baltic Mill Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, England, in 2003. Her work has been shown in many group shows most recently in WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (traveled to National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2007-08); 52nd Venice Biennale (2007); Persistent Vestiges: Drawings from the American-Vietnam War Drawing Center, New York (2005); Looking at Words: The Formal Presence of Text in Modern and Contemporary Works on Paper Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2005); Gloria: Another Look at Feminist Art of the 1970s White Columns, New York (2003); Sanctuary: Contemporary Art and Human Rights Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, Scotland (2003); Open Ends: Contemporary Art from 1960-2001 Museum of Modern Art, New York (2001); and the Kwangju Biennale Korea (2000).

Nancy Spero