Ana Mendieta

Ana Mendieta, Untitled, ca. 1983–85, courtesy Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan; Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

It is rare to encounter an artist like Ana Mendieta (1948-1985), whose work in the 1970s and 1980s did not adhere to any predetermined genre or movement. Working between performance, photography, drawing, and painting, the artist articulated complex political and philosophical concerns around the female body. Mendieta’s life was a constant navigation within the white, Western-centric, and heavily patriarchal art canon of the time, causing her to frequently encounter her own subjectivity—her own “difference.” Her work too was very much embedded within the sociopolitical issues of patriarchy and sexual violence.

Although much of her art involves enactments and performances gesturing to this violence, as in her work Untitled (Rape Scene) (1973), she also spent time working in various media that considered the importance of the natural environment for quiet reflection and meditative immersion. The group of drawings included in the 10th Berlin Biennale were predominantly made in the early 1980s and illustrate the gentle relationship she saw between her body and nature. Their simple lines, rendered in ink or graphite on paper, portray the organic curves of leaves and fruit, which carry with them a subtle yonic nature, suggesting a quiet tribute to femininity—poignant because of its ongoing vulnerability.

—Thulile Gamedze

    Venue:
  • Akademie der Künste

LIST OF WORKS

Untitled, 1985
Ink and wash on paper
Collection The Estate of Ana Mendieta, LLC
Courtesy Raffaella Cortese Gallery, Milan; Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Untitled, no date
Graphite on paper
Collection The Estate of Ana Mendieta, LLC
Courtesy Raffaella Cortese Gallery, Milan; Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Untitled, no date
Ink on paper
Collection The Estate of Ana Mendieta, LLC
Courtesy Raffaella Cortese Gallery, Milan; Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Untitled, ca. 1983–85
Ink and wash on paper
Privatsammlung, Münster
Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Untitled, ca. 1984–85
Graphite on paper
Collection The Estate of Ana Mendieta, LLC
Courtesy Raffaella Cortese Gallery, Milan; Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Untitled, ca. 1983–85
Ink and wash on paper
Private collection, Modena

Untitled, ca. 1984–85
Graphite on paper
Collection The Estate of Ana Mendieta, LLC
Courtesy Raffaella Cortese Gallery, Milan; Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Untitled, ca. 1981–84
Graphite on paper
Collection The Estate of Ana Mendieta, LLC
Courtesy Raffaella Cortese Gallery, Milan; Galerie Lelong & Co., New York

Untitled, no date
Graphite on paper, framed
Collection E. Righi, Bologna

Untitled, 1985
Leaves imprinted with ink on paper
Collection The Estate of Ana Mendieta, LLC
Courtesy Raffaella Cortese Gallery, Milan; Galerie Lelong & Co., New York