Discuss how the artwork "Dildo Dancer / Egyptian Woman" and "To the Revolution" by Nancy Spero connect to feminism.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Nancy Spero's 1981 work "To the Revolution" depicts four energetic female figures with prominent, pointed breasts and with arms and legs spread wide. They are surrounded by a crowd of floating female heads, and their dynamism, like the title of the painting, is a call to radical and revolutionary action....

Unlock
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial

Nancy Spero's 1981 work "To the Revolution" depicts four energetic female figures with prominent, pointed breasts and with arms and legs spread wide. They are surrounded by a crowd of floating female heads, and their dynamism, like the title of the painting, is a call to radical and revolutionary action. By this time, Spero had already eliminated all male figures from her art, saying that it was a vital part of her project "to see what it means to view the world through the depiction of women."

Many of Spero's artworks, like "Dildo Dancer/Egyptian Woman," created in 1990, are based on ancient images. The central disc contains a single white female figure, inserting a phallic object between bowed legs. As in the earlier work, there are women's heads above and below her. The change in subject and emphasis shows the development of Spero's ideas. A decade earlier, her focus as a feminist artist had been on revolutionary activism, as depicted and encouraged in "To the Revolution." However, by 1990, Spero was more concerned with displaying the experiences of women, from childbirth to sexual acts, as both normal and formally beautiful. Although these experiences are common for women, Spero pointed out that they are seldom depicted in art, which is overwhelmingly focused through the male gaze. Spero's later work aims to go some way towards redressing the balance.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team