Nancy Spero’s “Paper Mirror” Exhibition

Artist and activist Nancy Spero (American, 1926–2009) confronted oppression and inequality at the same time as she challenged aesthetic orthodoxies. She reframed history from a perspective that she termed “woman as protagonist.” Born in Ohio, Spero began her career as a figurative painter in Paris during the 1950s, but in the 1960s, faced with the atrocities of the Vietnam War, she concluded that painting had become “too conventional, too establishment.” Collaged together from mythology, folklore, art history, literature, and media—and presented in increasingly experimental formats, from scrolls to friezes and room-sized installations—these works are, according to Spiro, “ephemeral monuments” to the full range of women’s experience: tragic/triumphant, degraded/ powerful, victimized/liberated. Through June 23 at P.S.1 MOMA in Long Island City, New York.