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Ana Mendieta (1948-1985)


Selected Film Works (1972-1981)


Ana Mendieta (18 November 1948 – 8 September 1985) was a Cuban American performance artist, sculptor, painter and video artist who is known for her "earth-body" art work.

Mendieta was born in Havana, Cuba. At age 14, in order to escape Fidel Castro's regime, Ana and her sister Raquelin were sent to the United States by their parents. Through Operation Peter Pan, a collaborative program run by the U.S. Government and the Catholic Charities, Mendieta and her sister were moved through several institutions and foster homes in Iowa.

Mendieta attended the University of Iowa where she earned a BA, an MA in Painting and an MFA in Multimedia and Video Art. Through the course of her career, she created work in Cuba, Mexico, Italy, and the United States.

Mendieta's work was in its essence autobiographical and focused on themes including feminism, violence, life, death, place and belonging. Mendieta often focused on a spiritual and physical connection with the Earth, most particularly in her "Silueta Series" (1973–1980). The series involved Mendieta creating female silhouettes in nature - in mud, sand and grass - with natural materials ranging from leaves and twigs to blood, and making body prints or painting her outline or silhouette onto a wall.

In 1983 Mendieta was awarded the Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. While in residence in Rome, Italy, Mendieta began creating art "objects," including drawings and sculptures. She continued to use natural elements in her work.

Ana Mendieta died on September 8, 1985 in New York from a fall from her 34th floor apartment in Greenwich Village, where she lived with her husband of eight months, minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. Andre was tried and acquitted of her murder. During the trial, Andre's lawyer described Mendieta's death as a possible accident or suicide. The cause of her death may never be known.

Ana Mendieta's estate is managed by the Galerie Lelong in New York City. -- Wikipedia