Guanaroca- Esculpturas Rupestres by Ana Mendieta
by Ana Mendieta
from Cuba and the United States
Photography and Film
The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection LLC
© The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co.
Ana Mendieta investigated performance and body art during the gestation of feminist art. Her art -- a combination of sculpture, body art and earthworks -- explored female spirituality, pantheism, Afro-Cuban roots, and the landscape itself.
Ana Mendieta was a Cuban-born artist who came to the United States with her sister in 1960 at the age of 12. After a series of foster home experiences, she attended the University of Iowa as an art student.
In her art, Ana Mendieta investigated performance and body art during the gestation of feminist art. Her work combined the sensibility of an exile who felt displaced in her adopted country. Through her hybrid art -- a combination of sculpture, body art and earthworks -- the artist explored female spirituality, pantheism, Afro-Cuban roots, and the landscape itself.
In Ana Mendieta’s groundbreaking art, documented in short films and still photographs, she carved and shaped her figure directly into the earth -- in rock, in clay beds, and in grottoes -- in Iowa, Mexico and Cuba.
About her Siluetas series in which she enacts a living connection in nature, the artist remarked: “I have been carrying out a dialogue between the landscape and the female body (based on my own silhouette). I believe this has been a direct result of my having been torn from my homeland (Cuba) during my adolescence. My art is the way I re-establish the bonds that unite me to the universe. It is a return to the maternal source.” See the Tate website for direct quote: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/mendieta-untitled-silueta-series-mexico-t13357
A later series Esculturas Rupestres (Rupestrian Sculptures) shows her body form carved and imprinted into the landscape in a way that recalls ancient goddess forms. Although she had hoped these earthworks would be discovered by future visitors, most of these sculptures were destroyed by natural erosion or by the area’s changing uses. [DW1] These artworks remain because they were documented at the time of their creation.
Ana Mendieta’s vital career was tragically cut short in 1985. Ultimately her legacy lies in her presentation of the female body at one with nature, as the creator and the created.
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Last edited 11/18/2018 1:55:59 AM