Being ‘The Other’ – Analysis of Three Artistic Cases: Nancy Spero, Cy Twombly and Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos
Keywords:other, feminism, high modernism, conceptual art, text in visual art, reception
An analysis of the work of Nancy Spero is difficult due to the fact that her work is not part of prestigious museum collections and also the indifferent attitude of critics toward her art. The theoretician Benjamin H. D. Buchloh thinks that the reason for this is the fact that Spero is a woman. The question arises as to how this biological fact reflects on her position as an artist, and Buchloh gives an answer that critics could not ‘read’ her work, that there were obstacles in understanding, which made critics avoid her work. He finally defined her position on the art scene as marginal . In order to analyze Spero’s work without again positioning her outside of established practices, Buchloh has made a comparative analysis of her work and Cy Twombly’s. As a gay man, Twombly was ‘the other’ in the mainstream art world. On the platform of Buchloh’s analysis I would like to introduce a third artist, Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos, whose position could also be defined as ‘other’, coming from a small country (Yugoslavia, Croatia) which is interesting to world art centers only as something ‘other’ than the dominant nations of Western Europe and North America.
To be the ‘other’ does not necessarily imply the critique of the dominant. The critique of the New York School developed by Spero is a critique of the style which pretended to be the dominant one. The common feature for these three artists is the conclusion that alternative models must be based on the different relation of painting towards language.
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