Unseen Mendieta: The Unpublished Works of Ana Mendieta

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9783791339665: Unseen Mendieta: The Unpublished Works of Ana Mendieta
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Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) produced some of the most compelling images of body- and identity-oriented art of the 1970s. The tracks made by the artist dragging her blood-covered arms down a wall; the pigment-filled void of her silhouette pressed into a sandy beach, consumed by advancing waves; her bodily outline drawn by ignited gunpowder on the earth or set alight with fireworks against the night sky; and fetishistic goddess shapes molded in soil, adorned with flowers, resound in the histories of feminist art, performance and land art, and late twentieth-century Latin American art.
Despite major survey exhibitions by museums in the United States, Europe, and Latin America over the last decade, however, a large body of work by Mendieta remains unknown. Hundreds of 35 mm slides in the artist's personal archive, including many that document her extensive Silueta series - her signature "earth-body works" created in the landscapes of Mexico, Iowa, upstate New York, and Cuba between 1973 and 1981 - remain unpublished and are unknown even to the most knowledgeable of contemporary art scholars. In addition to the slide works published in this volume for the first time, there are selections from her many black-and-white photographic negatives and contact sheets, documenting unknown sculptural works produced in the early 1980s, as well as revealing pages from the artist's diaristic sketchbooks.

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About the Author:

OLGA VISO served as director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. before being named director of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2008. She is the author of several books on contemporary Latin American art. She lives in Minneapolis, MN.B

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Multimedia pioneer Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) broke taboos and exploded the boundaries of fine art at every turn of her short career; sadly, her sudden death at 36 left her unorganized oeuvre in the hands of a distraught family and a few dedicated scholars. This book of previously unseen work, the result of years of research and cataloging by Mendieta authority Viso, is a must-have for fans. For those unfamiliar with her shocking and vibrant work, this is a fantastic introduction to Mendieta's demanding exploration of violence, the body, religion and the natural world. Characteristic, and perhaps the most disturbing, of her pieces, is Rape Scene, part of a series inspired by real events: "workshop participants invited to visit her apartment at a prearranged time... discovered her apartment door ajar. Inside the artist was posed silently, doubled over a table in a pool of blood with implements of violence scattered about." Working in public venues and frequently using her own body (or her blood) as a medium, Mendieta attempts to blaze a new path with every series of images: "My works do not belong to the modernist tradition... nor to the commercially historical-self-conscious assertions of what is called post-modernism." The accompanying text by Viso provides informative biographical information, as well as valuable interpretation and analysis.
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Olga Viso
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