Nancy Spero Biography > Curriculum Vitae

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Born 1926-01-01

1926 Born Cleveland, Ohio. 

1944 New Trier High School, Winnetka, Illinois...

1944-45 University of Colorado, Boulder... 

1949 BFA, School of the Art Institute of

1949-50 Paris: Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and Atelier Andr6 l'Hote.. 

1950 Apprenticeship in scene design, Ivoryton Summer Theater, 

1950-51Lives and works in New York City.. 

1951 Marries Leon Golub, they live in Chicago. Works on one canvas for 
a year, never completing it... 

1953 Son Stephen born

1954 Son Philip born... 

1956-57 Lives in Ischia and Florence, Italy. Works on paintings of 
mothers and children, 
reclining figures, Canopic jar... 

1957-59 Lives in Blooming-ton, Indiana. Subjects from Tarot cards, The 
Sick Women, 

1959-64 Lives in Paris. Works on the series the Paris Black Paintings: 
Lovers, Prostitutes, 
Mothers and Children, Monsters... 

1961 Son Paul born... 

1962 First Paris solo exhibition, Galerie Breteau . .

1964 Returns to New York City where she has since lived and worked... 

1966 Stopped painting in oils. Involvement in the peace movement (anti-
Vietnam War+begins 
works on the War Series (until 1970). Use of collage, cut-outs and text on 

1968-69 Joins the Art Workers Coalition (AWC+involved in art-political 
actions  .

1969 Joins Women Artists in Revolution (WAR)involved in art-political and 
feminist art world 

1969-70 Works on The Artaud Paint-ings.. .

1970 Ad-Hoc Committee of Women Artists... 

1971-72 The Codex Artaud-first scroll work, collaged/printed images and 
text on paper glued 
end-to-end to form panels ranging in size from 20 inches in height to 4 to 
25 feet in length... 

1972 One of the founding members of A.I.R. Gallery. Fire in her studio~ a 
number of works are 
damaged and destroyed... 

1974 Exhibits Hours of the Night (112 inches x 260 inches) and Torture in 
C1il ..first feminist 
work based upon Amnesty International accounts of women as political 
victims-A.I.R. Gallery.. 

1974-76 Decides to concentrate on woman as subject in all future works. 
Works for two years on 
Torture of Women (20 inches x 125 feet)... 

1976 Exhibits Torture of Women, A.I.R. Gallery... 

1976-77 CAPS Fellowship, New York State Council on the Arts  .1977-78 
National Endowment 
for the Arts grant... 

1976-79 Works for three years on Notes in Time on Women (20 inches 
high x 210 feet long 
including 96 printed quotations)a source book/scroll of references, across 
history and cultures, of 
woman as protagonist... 

1979 Exhibits Notes in Time on Women, A.I.R. Gallery... 

1979-81 Works for two years on The First Lan-guage (20 inches high x 
190 feet long). Apart 
from isolated examples, no longer includes writing in the works .. .

1981 Exhibits The First Language, A.I.R. Gallery. Generic works-To the 
Revolution-the active, 
female body: gestural, rhythmic... 

1983 Si-multaneous three-gallery exhibition in New York City: A.I.R. 
Gallery, Art Galaxy, and 
the 345 Gallery. Solo exhibitions at Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago, and 
Willard Gallery, New 
York City. Continues To the Revolution-work becomes increasingly 
celebratory-joyful, colorful, 
carnivalesque.. .

1984 Selection of works at Riverside Studios, London... 

1985 Lawrence Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia; S.L. Simpson Gallery, 
Toronto; Burnett Miller 
Gallery, Los Angeles. The Paris Black Paintings exhibited for the first time 
at The Renaissance 
Society, University of Chicago and the Hewlett Gallery, Carnegie-Mellon 

1986 Exhibits Sky Goddess I (20 inches high x 54 feet long) and Fleeing 
Woman/Irradiated at 
Josh Baer Gallery, New York. Exhibits with Leon Golub, Greenville County 
Museum of Art, 
South Carolina... 

1987 Sheela and the Dildo Dancer, at Josh Baer Gallery, New York City. 
Also exhibits at 
Lawrence Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia; S.L. Simpson Gallery, Toronto. The 
First Language 
shown at Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, D.C.... 

1987 Retrospective exhibition,The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 
Fruitmarket Gallery, 
Edinburgh, and Orchard Gallery, Derry, Northern Ireland.


"Retrospective," Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London. Traveled 
to: The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland; The Orchard Gallery, 
Northern Ireland.

S.L. Simpson Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
"Some Like It Hot," (The First Language), Washington Project for the Arts 
(WPA), Washington, D.C.

"Continuum," (War Series, CodexArtaud, The First Language), Museum 
Villa Stuck, Munich.
"Nancy Spero/Leon Golub," Greenville County Museum of Art, Greenville, 
South Carolina.
Josh Baer Gallery, New York City. Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.

"Nancy Spero: Recent Work," Lawrence Oliver Gallery, Philadelphia.
"Nancy Spero: The Black Paris Paintings 1959-1966," Hewlett Gallery, 
Carnegie-Mellon University, College of Fine Arts, Pittsburgh, 
Powerhouse Gallery, Montreal.
S.L. Simpson Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.
"The First Language and Recent Work," Burnett Miller Gallery, Los Angeles.

The First Language, Matrix Gallery, University Art Museum, University of 
California at Berkeley.
Riverside Studios, London.
The Black Paintings, Bergman Gallery, The Renaissance Society at the 
University of Chicago.
"Normal Love/Doomed Experts-Nancy Spero/David Reynolds," Cash 
Gallery, New York City.

Willard Gallery, New York City.
"Notes in Time on Women and Recent Work," Rhona Hoffman Gallery, 
Concurrent exhibitions: War Series, Gallery 345/Art for Social Change, 
Inc.; Paris Black Paintings, 1959-64 and CodexArtaud 1971-2, A.I.R. 
Gallery; and "Paintings," 1979-83, Art Galaxy, New York City.
Notes in Time on Women, Matrix Gallery, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 
"The First Language (Part I), War Series (Part II)," Galerie France Morin, 
Montreal. "Vietnam War, Nancy Spero/Leon Golub," Tweed Arts Group, 
Plainfield, New Jersey.

The First Language, A.I.R. Gallery, New York City.
Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst. (In conjunction with 
International Women's League.)

Livingston Gallery, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

Torture of Women, Hampshire College Art Gallery, Amherst, 
Notes in Time on Women, A.I.R. Gallery, New York City.
Torture of Women, Real Art Ways, Hartford, Connecticut.
"Notes in Time on Women: Part II Women: Appraisals, Dance and Active 
Histories". Picker Art Gallery, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York.
Notes in Time on Women, Peach Tree Center Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia 
(sponsored by the Atlanta Women's Art Collective).

Marianne Deson Gallery, Chicago.
Herter Gallery, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
The Woman's Building, Los Angeles.

Thrture of Women, A.I.R. Gallery, New York City.

The Hours of the Night and Torture in Chile, A.I.R. Gallery, New York City.

Codex Artaud, A.I.R. Gallery, New York City.

Artaud Paintings, University of California at San Diego.

Galerie Breteau, Paris.

"Nancy Spero/Leon Golub," Indiana University, Bloomington.

Selected Group Exhibitions

"Stations," Centre International d'Art Contemporain de Montreal.
"Tragic and Timeless Today: Contemporary History Painting," Gallery 400, 
University of Illinois at Chicago.
"Resistance (Anti-Baudrillard)," Group Material, White Columns, New York 

"Association de Mujeres del El Salvador," AMES Art Auction, Montreal.
"The Biennale of Sydney," Sydney, Australia.
"Out of Sight, Out of Mind," (Anti-Vivisection Show), P.P.O.W. Gallery, 
New York City.

"Kunst mit Eigen-Sinn," Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts, Vienna.
"Disinformation: The Manufacture of Consent," Alternative Museum, New 
York City.
"3 Women Painters," Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre, Banff, 
"Art in the Anchorage," Creative Time, New York City.
"Nude, Naked, Stripped," Hayden Gallery, Vera List Visual Arts Center
M.I.T, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
"The Other America," GLC Royal Festival Hall, London.

"Art and Ideology" (Torture of Women), The New Museum of 
Contemporary Art, New York City.
"Content: A Contemporary Focus 1974-1984," Hirshhom Museum and 
Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.
"La Narrativa Internacional de Hoy," Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, Mexico.
"Tradition and Conflict," The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York City.
"Reconstruction Project," Artists Space, New York City.
"Collage Expanded," Visual Arts Museum, New York City.

"State of the Art, the New Social Commentary. " Barbara Gladstone 
Gallery, New York City
"The End of the World: Contemporary Visions of the Apocalypse," The 
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York City.
"The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter," Protetch-McNeil 
Gallery, New York City.
"What Artists Have to Say About Nuclear War," Nexus Gallery, Atlanta, 
Georgia. "It Was a Time for Anger," P.5.1, Institute for Art and Urban 
Resources, Long Island City, New York.
"Die andere Avantgarde" (Torture of Women), Brucknerhaus, Linz, 

"Luchar-An Exhibition for the People of Central America," sponsored by 
Group Material, Taller Latino Americano, New York City.
"Sense and Sensibility," Midland Group, Nottingham, England. "Gowanus 
Annual H: The Monument Redefined," Brooklyn, New York. "The Atomic 
Salon," Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York City. "Sexuality in Art: Two 
Decades from a Feminist Perspective," sponsored by The Women's 
Caucus for Art, Westbeth Gallery 1, New York City.


"Crimes of Compassion," Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia.
"Ikon/LogosThe Word as Image," The Alternative Museum, New York City.
"Watercolors," P.5.1, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, Long Island 
City, New York.
"Transformationon~Women in Art/70s-80s," sponsored by the New York 
Feminist Art Institute, New York Coliseum, New York City.
"Six Feminist Artists" (Thrture of Women), The Center for the Arts, 
Mutilenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania.

"Issue-Social Strategies by Women Artists," Institute for Contemporary Art 
(ICA), London.
"Art of Conscience: The Art of the Last Decade," Wright State University, 
Ohio. "Renderings of the Modern Woman, "Joseloff Gallery, University of 
Hartford, Hanford, Connecticut.

"Words and Images," Philadelphia College of Art, Philadelphia, 
"Centennial Exhibition," The Art Institute of Chicago.
"Artists Draw," Artists Space, New York City.
"Political Content in Contemporary Art," State University of New York at 
Potsdam, State University of New York at Binghamton.
"feministische kunst international," Haague Gemeentemuseum, The 
Hague, Netherlands.

"Overview," A.I.R. Retrospective, P.5.1, Institute for Art and Urban 
Resources, Long Island City, New York.
"Works of A.I.R. Artists," Ginza Kaigakan Gallery, Tokyo, Japan. 
"Language: A Visual Experience," B.J. Spoke Gallery, Port Washington, 
New York. "Women Artists from New York,"Art Gallery, State University of 
New York at Stony Brook.

"Strong Work," Artemisia Gallery, Chicago. "Contemporary Issues," The 
Woman's Building, Los Angeles. "Radical Attitudes to the Gallery," ART 
NET Ltd., London. "Words at Liberty," Museum of Contemporary Art, 
Chicago. "Whitney Counterweight," James Yu Gallery, New York City.

"Invitational Drawing Show," 55 Mercer, New York City. "Visions: 
Distinguished Alumni 1945 to the Present," School of the
Art Institute of Chicago.


Antonin Anaud: 4 Texts, translated by Clayton Eshleman and Norman 
Glass, Los Angeles: Panjandrum Books, Inc., 1982 (cover and 

Anscribe [London]. September-October 1984 (center spread of Maenad).

Block, Winter 1985/86, London: Middlesex Polytechnic (center spread of 
Torture in Chile).

Bomb, "Painters &Writers," 1982, No.4, pp.36-7 (photo-essay of The First 

C Magazine, Fall 1985, No.7 (cover and reproductions).

Caterpillar, 1967 (cover and photo-essay of War Series).

Caterpillar 8/9, 1969 (photo-essay of Codex Artaud).

Caterpillar 18,1972 (photo-essay of Torture of Women).

Stopping Sexual Assault in Marriage (educational pamphlet). New York 
City: Cen-ter for Constitutional Rights, 1986 (cover and reproductions).

Eau de Cologne (art journal), 1985, No.1, Cologne: Monika Spruth 
Gallery, pp.63-5

(portrait, 1984 and reproduction of Alaide Poppa De Solorzano 

Ferro Botanica, 1983, No.3 (centerfold of Snakes).

Heresies, "Art and Politics," January 1977, No.1 (reproductions of Torture 
in Chile and Bomb Shitting).

Heresies, "Women and Violence," January 1979, No.6 (reproductions of 
Codex Ar-taud XVII).

Heresies, "Racism is the Issue," October 1982, No.15 (reproduction of 
Alaide Poppa

De Solorzano Disappeared...), p.14.
Heresies, "First Strike for Peace," 1987, No.20, p.13 (reproduction of 
Clown Riding

Sulfur 9, 1984, No.3, Vol. lIt pp.60-6 (reproduction of details of Codex 

Sulfur 14, 1985, No.2, Vol.11 (fold-out of El Salvador).

Sulfur 19, "Nancy Spero: From the Torture of Women Series," 1987,
 pp.26-31 (photo-


Vanguard, Summer 1987, No.3, Vol.16, pp.11, 12, "Seduction Without 
Desire" by
Jo-Anna Isaak (cover and photo-essay).


Adams, Brooks. "Spero's Muse: The Printed Paintings." The Print 
Collector's Newsletter, March-April 1986, pp.10-Il.

Alloway, Lawrence. "Nancy Spero." Art/orum, May 1976, pp.52-3.   

"Art". The Nation, September 25, 1976, pp.282-3.

Bird, Jon. "Nancy Spero: Inscribing woman-between the lines" (catalogue 
essay). London: Institute of Contemporary Art, March 1987.

Blumenthal, Lyn and Kate Horsfield. "Interview with Nancy Spero." Profile, 
January 1983.

Brenson, Michael. "Nancy Spero." The New York Times, March 28, 1986. 

"Can Political Passion Inspire Great Art?" The New York Times, April 4, 

Brooks, Rosetta. Nancy Spero (exhibition brochure). Philadelphia: 
Lawrence Oliver Gallery, 1986.

Can, C. "What Is Political Art. . . Now." The Village Voice, October 15, 

Ceballos, Jacqui Michot. Mod Donn Art-li Women Artists (exhibition 
brochure). New York: Public Theater, 1970.

Craven, David. "Nancy Spero." Arts, October 1986, p.113.

Currah, M. "Now That We're Post-Modern and Post-Feminist..." City Limits 
(London), March 19-26, 1987.

De Pasquale, Carol. "Dialogues with Nancy Spero." Womanart, 
Winter/Spring 1976, pp.7-10.

Engler, Brigitte. "Woman of Motion." PAPER (New York City), March 1987.

Flood, Richard. Memento Mon (exhibition catalogue). Philadelphia: Goldie 
Paley Gallery, Moore College of Art, 1985.

Flynn, Barbara. "Interview with Nancy Spero." Nancy Spero: 43 Works on 
Paper-Excerpts from the Writings of Antonin Artaud (exhibition catalogue). 
Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, 1987.

Garb, Tamar. "Nancy Spero" (interview). Artscribe, Summer 1987, pp.58-

Golub, Leon. "Bombs and Helicopters: The Art of Nancy Spero." 
Caterpillar 1, 1967, p.52.

Gooding, Mel. "Nancy Spero at Riverside." Artscribe, September-October 

Gumpert, Lynn. The End of the World: Contemporary Visions of the 
Apocalypse (exhibition catalogue). New York: New Museum of 
Contemporary Art,
1983,p. 11.

Heit, Janet. "Nancy Spero," Arts Magazine, November 1983, p.5.

Isaak, Jo-Anna. The Revolutionary Power of Women's Laughter 
(exhibition catalogue). New York: Protetch-McNeil Gallery, 1983.

Jolicoeur, Nicole and Nell Tenhaaf. "Defying the Death Machine" 
(interview). Parachute No.39, June-August 1985, pp.50-S.

Kent, Sara. "Frieze Fame." Time Out (London), April 1987.

King, Elaine. Nancy Spero: The Black Paris Paintings (exhibition 
catalogue). Pitts-burgh:  Hewlett Gallery, Carnegie-Mellon University, 

Kirschner, Judith. "Chicago: Nancy Spero, The Renaissance Society.
 "Artforum, April 1985, pp.98-9.

"The Possibility of an Avant-Garde." Formations, Fall 1985, p.80.

Kolbe, Dr. Jurgen. bestehenddebend-gegenw&rtig (exhibition catalogue). 
Museum Villa Stuck (curated by Continuum), 1986.

Kuspit, Donald. "Spero's Apocalypse." Artforum, April 1980, pp.34-S.

"From Existence to Essence." Art in America, January 1984, pp.88-96.

Laing, Carol. "Nancy Spero." Parachute, (Montreal), September, October
 November 1987, p.63.

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