Unseen Mendieta: The Unpublished Works of Ana Mendieta
Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) produced some of the most compelling images of body- and identity-oriented art of the 1970s. The tracks made by the artist dragging her blood-covered arms down a wall; the pigment-filled void of her silhouette pressed into a sandy beach, consumed by advancing waves; her bodily outline drawn by ignited gunpowder on the earth or set alight with fireworks against the night sky; and fetishistic goddess shapes molded in soil, adorned with flowers, resound in the histories of feminist art, performance and land art, and late twentieth-century Latin American art.
Despite major survey exhibitions by museums in the United States, Europe, and Latin America over the last decade, however, a large body of work by Mendieta remains unknown. Hundreds of 35 mm slides in the artist's personal archive, including many that document her extensive Silueta series - her signature "earth-body works" created in the landscapes of Mexico, Iowa, upstate New York, and Cuba between 1973 and 1981 - remain unpublished and are unknown even to the most knowledgeable of contemporary art scholars. In addition to the slide works published in this volume for the first time, there are selections from her many black-and-white photographic negatives and contact sheets, documenting unknown sculptural works produced in the early 1980s, as well as revealing pages from the artist's diaristic sketchbooks.
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