Continue playing

(Time remaining: )

Play from beginning

{{ currentTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} / {{ totalTime | date:'mm:ss':'+0000' }} {{cue.title}}
Add to WatchlistRemove from Watchlist
Add to watchlist
Remove from watchlist

Video unavailable

Becoming an ArtistNancy Spero

April 17, 2008

“I suppose I felt doomed to be an artist early on, because of the way I drew all over the margins of my textbooks…” recalled Nancy Spero, when asked if she had always wanted to be an artist.

Nancy Spero is best remembered as a pioneer of the feminist art movement. Her work remained irreverent over her five-decade long career, often drawing inspiration from the atrocities of war and torture. A montage of the artist’s life in photos chronicles that career, while an interview describes her reservations about becoming an artist.

More information and credits

Credits

Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Sound: Merce Williams. Editor: Lizzie Donahue. Artwork courtesy: Nancy Spero. Thanks: Samm Kunce.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

Translate this video

Through the Art21 Translation Project, multilingual audiences from around the globe can contribute translations, making Art21 films more accessible worldwide. Translate this video now.

Licensing

Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero is a pioneer of feminist art. Her work since the 1960s is an unapologetic statement against the pervasive abuse of power, Western privilege, and male dominance. Executed with a raw intensity on paper and in ephemeral installations, her work often draws its imagery and subject matter from current and historical events. Spero samples from a rich range of visual sources of women as protagonists to create figures that co-exist in nonhierarchical compositions on monumental scrolls, visually reinforcing principles of equality and tolerance.

“I felt doomed to be an artist early on because of the way I drew all over the margins of my textbooks… I was never interested in doing anything else.”

Nancy Spero

Becoming an Artist

1:49
Add to watchlist

Jessica Stockholder

4:15
Add to watchlist

Ursula von Rydingsvard

1:08
Add to watchlist

An-My Lê

Nancy Spero discusses her reasons for creating politically-motivated works.

Nancy Spero

4:07
Add to watchlist

Nancy Spero

12:32
Add to watchlist
1:02
Add to watchlist