Ana Mendieta: Traces

Julia Bryan-Wilson, Adrian Heathfield et al


During her short career, Ana Mendieta (1948–85) created a body of work that was provocative and radically inventive. Using her own body, together with elemental materials – blood, fire, earth and water – she created visceral ‘tableaus’ and ephemeral ‘earth-body’ sculptures exploring life, death, rebirth and spiritual transformation.

Born in Cuba, but sent to the US as a child, much of her art expresses the pain and rupture of cultural displacement and exile. In Mendieta’s work the outline of her body is consumed by gunpowder, fireworks, or advancing waves, and ancient goddess-forms are shaped from sand, carved into rock, or incised into clay or onto leaves. The media are exceptionally diverse, but the images are consistently compelling, mysterious and poetic.

Encompassing a wealth of drawings, photography and film, Ana Mendieta: Traces provides a comprehensive and illuminating overview of this highly influential artist’s work. Essays by art historians, Julia Bryan-Wilson and Adrian Heathfield, as well as Stephanie Rosenthal, Chief Curator at Hayward Gallery, provide an array of new approaches to Mendieta’s practice. This publication also includes a wide-ranging and highly illustrated anthology of never-before-seen material, including Mendieta’s own notebooks, exhibition plans and correspondence, the result of unparalleled access to the Ana Mendieta Archive.

Filled with new imagery, ephemera and scholarship, Ana Mendieta: Traces provides a comprehensive introduction to this major twentieth-century artist, as essential for Mendieta experts as for those coming to her work for the first time. Foreword by Ralph Rugoff.


Hayward Publishing, 2013. 240 pages, softback, 27cm x 22cm.


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