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