new-york

Marina Abramović and Ana Mendieta

Sean Kelly Gallery / Gallery Lelong

Though they never met, Marina Abramović and Ana Mendieta are two artists who suddenly seem to have everything to do with each other. Born two years apart, both lived nomadically (Mendieta was displaced from Castro’s Cuba to Iowa at thirteen; Abramović is a longtime expatriate of Yugoslavia). Both came of age artistically in the ’70s, through Conceptualism and performance. As “rest/energy: Marina Abramović and Ana Mendieta,” concurrent exhibitions curated by Cecile Panzieri and Mary Sabbatino, revealed, the two share a vision of the female body as a contained area and (im)permeable boundary, and they both draw on an elemental vocabulary of fire, earth, breath, blood, and stone. In the documentary photographs, drawings, and video clips on display, the nude appears hieratic, impersonal. For Mendieta this impersonality is spiritual; her body in repose becomes a vessel offered up to nature.

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