Ana Mendieta- a search for identity
Finkelstein, Stephanie Lynne
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Ana Mendieta was a Cuban-American female artist, whose work was a continuing search for identity throughout her life. She often searched for her roots in the earth itself, using it directly in her art and with her own body. This "return to the earth" was a metaphor for her life on many levels. Mendieta refers back to the Earth as a sense of home, literally and figuratively, as a tie to feminism and her womanhood, and her bond with religion, particularly the pagan-inflected, Cuban Catholicism known as Santeria. Tying her body to the land is how she felt an abundance of power and found her real niche. Mendieta utilized the earth and the land for most of her artistic career, which spanned from roughly 1972 to 1985, when she fell to her untimely death at age 36. Many know her for her death rather than her life, as Carl Andre, famous minimalist artist and her husband, was accused but acquitted of pushing her out of their 34th story window to her demise. Mendieta's art was often overshadowed- a problem many women artists encounter. Yet, Mendieta's posthumous notoriety helped redress her artworks. The search for Ana Mendieta's identity continues even after her death, as her work continues to be redressed and more recognized in current times.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Ana Mendieta: biography and overview of her art -- Major phases of work in her exploration of identity -- State of research: exploring and redressing her absence in the art world -- Conclusion -- Illustrations -- Biographical time line