Although Ana Mendieta (Havana 1948-New York 1985) is now an indisputable international reference in the artworld, her person and her works remain largely unknown.
In her active, but tragically short life Ana Mendieta built up an exceptional oeuvre. During a period of thirteen years (1972-1985) she produced super-8 films and video’s, performances, actions and site-specific installations, drawings, prints, objects and sculptures.

The Cuban Ana Mendieta left at a young age - because of the political situation - her country and her family for the United States. At the end of the sixties she studied at the University of Iowa, which has been a very decisive periode in her life. Also during the seventies she stayed most of the time in Iowa and executed there many of her performances. About her radical choise for new forms of art she said: "The turning point in art was in 1972, when I realized that my paintings were not real enough for what I want the image to convey and by real I mean I wanted my images to have power, to be magic."

In her early period (1972-1978) she did a lot of experimental actions and performances in which she investigated social taboes and transgressions. She focused on the subject of sacrifice and crime around the body as woman. Since 1975 she made the so called ‘Silueta’ (silhouette) works, in which she imprints of her own body merged in the landscape. In these works Ana Mendieta achieved a unique synthesis which related her actions to the form (silhouette) of her body, to land art and to the typical esoterical symbols of religions and primitive rituals.

From this early period of Ana Mendieta Galerie Akinci shows photoworks of performances: Cosmetic Facial Variations (1972) and Body Prints (1974) and a portfolio of 12 photos of the Silueta-works in Iowa (1976-1978).

A travelling exhibition of the work of Ana Mendieta was shown during the years 1996 and 1997 in the following places: Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela, Kunsthalle D?seldorf, Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona, Miami Art Museum of Dade County, Miami and MOCA, Los Angeles (cataloque).

Gabri?le Nederend  
Amsterdam 1999

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