Social Work

Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero, South Africa, 1981. © The Nancy Spero and Leon Golub Foundation for the Arts/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Courtesy: Galerie Lelong & Co., New York/Paris

Nancy Spero, South Africa, 1981. © The Nancy Spero and Leon Golub Foundation for the Arts/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Courtesy: Galerie Lelong & Co., New York/Paris

In a groundbreaking career surpassing 50 years of practice and encompassing many significant visual and cultural movements including Conceptual Art, Post-Modernism, and Feminism, Nancy Spero made the female experience central to her art and challenged aesthetic and political conventions.

Nancy Spero’s presentation in Social Work will show a previously unexhibited work as the centerpiece. Comprised entirely of text, Aztec Sahagun (1979) reads: “CERTAINLY CHILDBIRTH IS OUR MORTALITY / WE WHO ARE WOMEN / FOR IT IS OUR BATTLE.” Other text-based works on view include South Africa (1981) and El Salvador (1986), signifying Spero’s long involvement as an activist for justice.  Spero’s more celebratory work will also be on view which convey the strength of women fighting injustice.

Spero’s work is held in over 50 prominent public collections worldwide including the Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois; Centre Pompidou, France; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Spain; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Tate Gallery, England; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts; and Dallas Museum of Art, Texas.  Spero was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1926. She died in New York City in 2009.