"Ana Mendieta: A Retrospective"
November 20 1987 - January 24 1988

Organized by Petra Barreras del Rio, Director, El Museo del Barrio, New York, and John Perreault, Visual Arts Director, Snug Harbor Cultural Center, Staten Island; coordinated for presentation at The New Museum by Lynn Gumpert and Karen Fiss

"I have been carrying on a dialogue between the landscape and the female body (based on my own silhouette). I believe this has been a direct result of my having been torn from my homeland (Cuba) during my adolescence. I am overwhelmed by the feeling of having been cast from the womb (nature). My art is the way I re-establish the bonds that unite me to the universe. It is a return to the maternal source."

Ana Mendieta, quoted in John Perreault, Ana Mendieta catalogue. “This exhibition, the first major retrospective of Ana Mendieta’s work, was presented as part of the Museum’s continuing commitment to exhibiting the work of artist who have not received significant recognition. Mendieta died in 1985 a t the age of 36, as she was engaged in her most sophisticated and mature work. Born in Havana, Cuba, she was sent by her family to live in the United States in 1961. Studying at the University of Iowa’s Multimedia and Video Art program, Mendieta developed a personal vocabulary in which her own body became the medium for performances, earth art, body art, and photo art. The emerging feminist movement also played a role in Mendieta’s work. The Museum exhibition surveyed the growth and change in Mendieta’s career and included 30 documentary color photographs of the Silueta series, in which her body was traced in the landscape; black and white photographic blowups of rock carvings located in Cuba; early drawings on leaves; floor sculptures made from sand and earth; tree trunk sculpture with the female image carved and burnt into the surface; and videotape documentation of various performance works.” -From The New Museum Annual Report, 1988
Guest curators
New Museum curator
Staff member
Public Program
Courtesy the Artist and New Museum Archive