Spero was an American artist who struggled to integrate with the gallery scene in the US.

These two works are from an important period when she returned to New York after living in Europe for many years. 1) Victims Thrown ... comes from the 'War Series' in which she expresses a direct protest against American involvement in Vietnam. The helicopter is tagged with an American eagle sitting next to an excruciating screaming head. The head itself also references Ancient Greek imagery in the way that it is drawn. 2) I Died at Rodez ... illustrates the important shift after Spero had finished her War Series. Spero had discovered the writings of Antonin Artaud, a French poet and playright who became influential as the voice of an outsider. This work shows a screaming head and again this has classical overtones, perhaps referencing a fury or death head taken from Greek mythology whilst also representing Artaud’s own struggle to return to his body and reclaim his life after undergoing electroshock treatment. These works were presented by the Art Fund through Art Fund International.

Provenance

The artist's estate.


mima, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art

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