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Artists Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero

American Painter, Collage, and Installation Artist

Nancy Spero Photo
Movement: Feminist Art

Born: August 24, 1926 - Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Died: October 18, 2009 - New York, USA

"I used to think that the artist was powerless. The art community is small but if the artist gains a voice you reach some people who transmit ideas into the world."


Nancy Spero's career moves forth on a seamless figurative journey, beginning with lovers painted on heavy black ground to culminate in a whole host of female characters initially united by collage and then dispersed widely across white gallery walls. Whilst Spero's media and subject matter changed with time - moving between themes of family, the Vietnam War, and the subjugation of women - her work always retained an immersive quality. As a first generation American Feminist artist, married to fellow creative, Leon Golub, and known for giving Antonin Artaud a voice, Spero dispels any notion of a fixed and singular identity and instead sings within a large chorus drawn from all phases of history and culture. She draws upon a plethora of goddesses, famous personalities, and religious icons from her own visual archive. Indeed her art reveals that our mundane everyday existence is also a constant magical dialogue with myths and symbols. Feeling as a young artist alienated from the art world, by her latter years she was revered and respected in that very same arena, even being asked to re-design a New York subway station. As struggling figures jump from the canvas to be released into architectural space or to dance around city streets, it is as though through a lifetime of making that Nancy Spero achieved the ultimate goal, she set herself free.

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