Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nancy Spero

We are having our WCAGA Annual Members Meeting on Saturday, October 27 at 11 am at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

After the meeting some of us will be having lunch at nearby restaurants and returning to the Contemporary afterwards for the film showing at 2 pm.

Golub/Spero is a documentary by Gordon Quinn & Jerry Blumenthal who "visit the studios of Leon Golub and Nancy Spero, two world-renowned activist artists, as they make paintings and prints that examine abuses of power, human rights, and freedom of expression."

Nancy Spero is considered one of the premier artists of her time and has been the subject of numerous books and articles (Amazon has 182 listings). She is one of twelve artists profiled in the recent book After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art by Eleanor Heartney. Spero will be one of the featured artists on the new ART 21 series that starts October 28, on PBS.

PBS website feature:

Nancy Spero received WCA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. The next year she donated a print to be raffled off at the 2004 WCA conference. She was one of the founders of A.I.R., the first artist-run, not-for-profit gallery for women artists in the United States (1972, the same year WCA was founded).

Spero has a long history of support for women artists. My personal experience began in the 1980s when she generously agreed to a solo show of her work at Center/Gallery in Carrboro, NC. She exhibited her own work, served as curator for our annual juried show and attended an informal dinner in her honor. Over the years she met with many Center/Gallery artists individually in the studio/home near NYU which she shared with her husband, painter Leon Golub. I visited her in 1985. It was an inspiring visit; just walking through their studio was incredible. The bulk of their loft was their work area, divided equally down the length of the space. One side was Nancy’s; the other side was Leon’s. I found myself immersed in their artwork! In the back was a perfunctory kitchen (the table piled with books) and living area (bedroom, etc). Nancy looked at my slides and made suggestion about venues for my work and possible future directions, then advised me on relevant exhibitions to see while I was in New York. Both Nancy and Leon were incredibly gracious and down to earth. I was overwhelmed!

Ann Rowles


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