Collection: Nancy Spero

Nancy Spero
b. 1926, Cleveland; d. 2009, New York¶
Helicopter Victim, Astronaut, 1968
Gouche and ink on paper
25 x 39-1/2 inches
Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, museum purchase with funds from
2012.1

Nancy Spero is a pivotal figure in the history of feminist art and was a vocal critic of war and totalitarian regimes. Rendered in ink and gouache, using energetic marks on fragile paper, Helicopter, Victim, Astronaut is part of The War Series produced in the late 1960s and early 1970s and based on the images of helicopters and bombings that were broadcast on television during the Vietnam War. ¶¶In this work a helicopter is combined with two figures, one holding up the decapitated head of the other. The bodies are depicted as simple, schematic forms and evidence Spero's interest in ancient writing and drawings, in particular, hieroglyphs and figures painted on Greek vases. This work critically examines and condemns the history and rituals of war-related violence. In the words of the artist, through this image she sought "to make tangible the booty of warwhat a warrior would take from a battlefield, dismembering his victims and using those parts as decorations for himself." ¶