February 23 – March 25, 2023
Nancy Spero; Woman as Protagonist
Galerie Lelong & Co.
13 rue de Téhéran, Paris, France
Opening reception: Thursday, February 23, from 6:00pm – 8:00pm
Galerie Lelong & Co., New York, is pleased to announce a solo exhibition by Nancy Spero dedicated to works created between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s, the final two decades of the artist’s life. Throughout a career spanning over five decades, the New York-based artist Nancy Spero (b. 1926 – d. 2009) foregrounded women’s experiences, challenging systems of authority and subverting aesthetic conventions in the process. Frustrated with the pervasive silencing of women’s voices in society, Spero was an activist who devoted herself to the advancement of women in the arts through hosting and participating in discussion groups, many held in her SoHo loft. Beginning in 1976, Spero made women the sole subject of her work to elevate their status from “other” to protagonist. In celebration of Spero’s unapologetic advocacy for the presence of women in the arts, the exhibition will coincide with Women’s History Month.
A selection of works on paper demonstrative of Spero’s signature styles of collage and printing will be featured. These works are populated by female figures originating from diverse cultures spanning time and space; women with origins in pre-history, classical antiquity, and modernity are seen alongside one another. Nancy Spero began amassing the collection of plates she used to handprint these figures in the 1980s and they swiftly became a core component of her practice. Early examples of these printed works show Spero printing colorful figures directly onto white paper. By the 1990s, Spero’s printing practice had evolved to include bold, colorful backgrounds. Hues ranging from vibrant and bright to dark and muted take on a variety of forms, from multi-colored checkerboards to monochrome strokes, adding a rhythmic quality to the narratives Spero’s “stock company” present. In Spero’s own words, “these collages of handprinted figures are superimposed in fast rhythms to increase the tempo of actions of women in narrative/history.”