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Untitled (Guanaroca [First Woman])

Ana Mendieta

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Ana Mendieta: Place and Presence
Before graduating from the University of Iowa in 1972, Ana Mendieta had already embarked upon her unique practice of blending photography, body art, earth art, and performance art as she addressed the emergence of feminism and her experience as a Cuban exile.

For her iconic Silueta series, Mendieta placed her body in the landscape, using materials such as crushed flowers, sculpted mud, or ignited gunpowder to literally inscribe her silhouette, and then documented the ephemeral results through photographs and films. Returning to Cuba in 1980 and 1981, she continued to trace female forms on the ground, as in the pieces executed on the beach in Guanabo. She also began carving fertility figures into the caves and cliffs of her native land, which she called Rupestrian Sculptures. Many of these, such as the large Untitled (Guanaroca [First Woman]), were named after indigenous goddesses, simultaneously serving as political and personal assertions of Mendieta’s presence and identity, as well as reminders of ancient traditions of goddess worship.
MEDIUM Gelatin silver photograph
DATES 1981/1994
DIMENSIONS 53 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (135.9 x 100.3 cm)  (show scale)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
ACCESSION NUMBER 2007.15
EDITION Posthumous print edition 1 of 3
CREDIT LINE Gift of Stephanie Ingrassia
RIGHTS STATEMENT © The Estate of Ana Mendieta
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CAPTION Ana Mendieta (American, born Cuba, 1948-1985). Untitled (Guanaroca [First Woman]), 1981/1994. Gelatin silver photograph, 53 1/2 x 39 1/2 in. (135.9 x 100.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Stephanie Ingrassia, 2007.15. © The Estate of Ana Mendieta
IMAGE overall, CUR.2007.15.jpg. Photograph courtesy of Galerie Lelong, New York, 2008
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Black and white photograph of carved cave Cueva del Aguila, Escaleras de Jaruco, Havana.
RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (81%)
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