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(PDF) (DOC) (JPG)January 18, 2001

(Mahwah) — A solo exhibition of work by renowned feminist artist Nancy Spero will open with a reception Wednesday, February 21 from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Berrie Center’s Kresge and Pascal galleries at Ramapo College of New Jersey. The exhibit will run through March 23. “Nancy Spero is an original and ground-breaking artist,” says Sydney Jenkins, gallery director at Ramapo and curator of this exhibit. “Not only is she ensconced in art history due to her artistic achievements, but the potent political commentary in her work continues to resonate with great power. It is truly an honor to curate an exhibition of her work.”

Spero’s highly respected oeuvre includes works that celebrate the place of women in society and powerfully comment on oppressive political situations. Her title for this exhibition, Sheela Does Ramapo refers to her “historical” use of the Sheela-Na-Gig fertility figure in colorful and energetic works. The exhibit is primarily comprised of innovative works on paper as well as three-dimensional works. The exhibition includes “This Womb,” a large scroll with the message, “This womb does not belong to doctors, legislators, judges, priests, the state, etc.” and a major Spero work from the Ramapo College collection.

“Artemis, Acrobats, Divas, and Dancers,” a recent installation in glass and ceramic mosaic in the 66th Street/Lincoln Center Subway Station, was commissioned by Arts for Transit. Robert Enright, writing in the November 2000 issue of Border Crossings, called that work “a dazzling, rigorous, display of public art that is both pleasing and radical.” He goes on to say:

“Along with her stock characters – acrobats, dancers, sky goddesses, roller skaters, celebrants and victims – she has added the Diva, an opera singer who appears resplendent in red and gold. Since Diva means ‘goddess’ in Italian, Spero, with characteristic intelligence, has managed to choose a character who simultaneously occupies heaven and earth, one who performs and reigns in the same moment.”

The subject of numerous articles and three books, Spero’s work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions. She is the recipient of major awards and her works are included in museum collections around the world including the Australian National Gallery, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Centro Cultural in Mexico City, Frac Nord Pas de Calais in France, Harvard University Art Museums, Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montreal, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, Uffizi Galery in Florence, Italy and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. She was selected to represent the United States in the Cairo Biennale in 1998.

Born in Cleveland and a graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Spero also studied at the Atelier Andre L’Hote and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. After working in Paris in the 1950s and ’60s, she moved to New York in the 1960s to establish the feminist gallery A.I.R. and to join with artists and critics such as Leon Golub (her husband), Robert Morris and Lucy Lippard in forming the Art Workers’ Coalition.

A color catalog is available with an essay by art writer Suzanne Altman, who is based in Dresden, Germany. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5 p.m. An artist’s talk is scheduled Wednesday, March 14 at 5 p.m. in the gallery in conjunction with Women’s History Month.

For more information, please call (201) 684-7147.

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Ramapo College of New Jersey is the state’s premier public liberal arts college and is committed to academic excellence through interdisciplinary and experiential learning, and international and intercultural understanding. The College is ranked #1 among New Jersey public institutions by College Choice, has been named one of the 50 Most Beautiful College Campuses in America by CondeNast Traveler, and is recognized as a top college by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger’s, Princeton Review and Money magazine, among others. Ramapo College is also distinguished as a Career Development College of Distinction by CollegesofDistinction.com, boasts the best campus housing in New Jersey on Niche.com, and is designated a “Military Friendly College” in Victoria Media’s Guide to Military Friendly Schools.

Established in 1969, Ramapo College offers bachelor’s degrees in the arts, business, data science, humanities, social sciences and the sciences, as well as in professional studies, which include business, education, nursing and social work. In addition, the College offers courses leading to teacher certification at the elementary and secondary levels, and offers graduate programs leading to master’s degrees in Accounting, Business Administration, Creative Music Technology, Data Science, Educational Technology, Educational Leadership, Nursing, Social Work and Special Education, as well as a post-master’s Doctor of Nursing Practice.

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