Nancy Spero

°1926 – 2009, lived and worked in New York (US)

Nancy Spero was a leading figure in the feminist art movement of the 1960s. In her work, she explored female sexuality, war, male dominance and abuses of power, presenting compelling arguments for tolerance and non-hierarchical society. Spero drew from ancient mythologies and iconography, which she manipulated and incorporated in her drawings and collages.

She developed a pictographic language of body gestures and motion, a bodily hieroglyphics, reconstructing the diversity of representations of women from prehistory to the present. From 1976 through 1979, she researched and worked on Notes in Time on Women, a 50 cm by 64 meter paper scroll. She elaborated and amplified this theme in The First Language, eschewing text altogether in favour of an irregular rhythm of painted, hand-printed, and collaged figures, thus creating her “cast of characters.”

Spero was married to and collaborated with, late artist Leon Golub. She was also a founding member of the first women’s cooperative gallery, A.I.R. (Artists in Residence), in New York in 1972.


Nancy Spero
Nancy Spero (Courtesy of Galerie Lelong)

Nancy Spero’s work has been subject of plenty of solo exhibitions at venues such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Serpentine Gallery, London; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; MACBA, Barcelona; Reina Sofia, Madrid; Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam; MOCA, Los Angeles, Konsthall, Malmö; and Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Group shows include Museum Brandhorst, Munich; Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; M HKA, Antwerp, MoMA, New York; Kunstmuseum, Bonn; Whitney Museum, New York and Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki.

Her work is part is numerous museum collections worldwide including, among others, Art Institute of Chicago; Berkeley Art Museum; Kunstmuseum, Düsseldorf; Tate Gallery, London; and Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

The estate of Nancy Spero is represented by the following gallery;
click through to discover more of her work.

Lelong Gallery, New York / Paris 

works by Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero - Nancy Spero's Alphabet of Hieroglyphs - 2008

Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero's Alphabet of Hieroglyphs


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