On View

Untitled

Photo Credit: Rich Sanders, Des Moines

Untitled

Artist: Ana Mendieta (American, born Cuba,1948 - 1985)
Date: ca. 1978
Medium: Blank book burnt with branding iron in the shape of a handprint
Dimensions:
Overall (closed): 13 7/8 × 11 5/8 × 7/8 in. (35.2 × 29.5 × 2.2 cm.)
Overall (open): 13 7/8 × 23 1/4 in. (35.2 × 59.1 cm.)
Credit Line: Des Moines Art Center Permanent Collections; Purchased with funds from Rose F. Rosenfield and the Edmundson Art Foundation, Inc., 1997.76
Accession number: 1997.76
Classification: work on paper
Label TextAt a young age, Ana Mendieta was taken from her native Cuba to orphanages and foster homes in Iowa City in an attempt to escape political turmoil. She studied painting at the University of Iowa and received her B.A. in 1969 and her M.A. in 1972. In 1970, the year she became a citizen, she began experimenting with art focused on the human body. She used the “Silueta” series to reconnect with nature and the earth she felt violently torn from. In nearly 200 earth/body works, she carved, submerged, or burnt herself into the ground, documenting the acts with photography. In these images, Mendieta traced her silhouette, filled the outline with gunpowder, and then ignited it, capturing both the flames and their aftermath on film. The image of the hand in Untitled was made with an iron which she fashioned into the shape of a hand that she used in performances. She also used the iron to burn the image of the hand into the blank book. Source: News, January February 1998.
Exhibition History"Commitment, Community and Controversy: The Des Moines Art Center Collections," Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa, January 24, 1998 - May 10, 1998
Published ReferencesDMAC NEWS, "Permanent Collections: Recent Accession — Ana Mendieta," January-February 1998, p. 2, b/w repr

"Earth/Body: Ana Mendieta Sculpture and Performance"exhibition catalogue, edited by Olga Viso, Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2004, ref. pgs. 18 (b/w image), 274
entirely unexpected