TABLE OF CONTENTS

YOU AND I: THE ART OF KETTY LA ROCCA

THERE IS A HEARTBREAKING quality to Ketty La Rocca’s images, and it has to do with their unusually direct, sometimes raw mode of communication, their tone of supplication and call for attention and self-affirmation. It also has to do with her premature death (in 1976, at the age of 38), which biographically underscores the work’s poignancy: her career ended before her vocabulary could be appreciated. To its credit, La Rocca’s work speaks to contemporary feminist artists as more than archaeological evidence. Its power lies in the authenticity of its attempts to represent subjectivity and identity.

An exhibition in Switzerland last year introduced this Italian artist’s strong voice into the chorus of contemporary strategies for the representation of women, enlarging the much rehearsed field of language and image.1 It demonstrated La Rocca’s particular vision, which, without benefit of an

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