Nancy Spero dies aged eighty-three (Wednesday October 28, 2009)

compiled by Niamh Dunphy
 Nancy Spero; image held here
Nancy Spero; image held here

American artist and feminist Nancy Spero died at age eighty-three on Sunday 18 October in Manhattan.  According to her son Philip, the cause was an infection which lead to respiratory problems and in turn caused heart failure.
Spero was both an artist and activist, with a career that stretched over fifty years.  Her work addressed political, social and cultural concerns.  She used painting, printmaking and collage to chronicle war and violence as well as cycles of life and rebirth.
Spero was born in Cleveland Ohio in 1926 and studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  She was married to painter Leon Golub.  They were married for fifty-three years until his death in 2004.
In 1959, the couple moved to Paris where Spero immersed herself in European existentialism.  When they made New York City their permanent home, Spero was affected by the Vietnam war as well as by social changes in the United States at the time.
Spero was involved in the women's movement and joined a group called Women Artists in Revolution (WAR).  The group organized protests in New York City museums against racist and sexist policies.  In 1972, she was the founder of AIR Gallery, an all-women cooperative.
Spero had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1992 and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in 1988.  A retrospective of Spero's work is planned for the Pompidou Centre in Paris next year.