New Media Series—Ana Mendieta: Alma, Silueta en Fuego
November 6, 2015—March 13, 2016
EXHIBITION INFORMATIONThe Saint Louis Art Museum presents Ana Mendieta: Alma, Silueta en Fuego, the latest installment in the museum's New Media Series. In Alma, Silueta en Fuego (Soul, Silhouette on Fire) Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta (1948-1985) captures the moments as a cloth shroud placed in the ground goes up in flames. The body form with arms upraised was inspired by wax figurines that Mendieta observed in Mexican churches. Mendieta also was influenced by the Catholic concept of souls burning in Purgatory. Despite this dark aspect to her work, the artist spoke about fire as a "very magical thing."
Alma, Silueta en Fuego is one of the most impressive of Mendieta's Silueta series, executed between 1973 and 1980. In the Siluetas, the artist outlined her body's shape against the earth using a range of natural materials including soil, flowers, blood, fire, and water. These works reflected her strong spiritual connection with the land.
Born in Cuba, Mendieta moved to the United States at the age of 13. Although best known for her photographs and performances, Mendieta was also an accomplished filmmaker. In 2015, Alma, Silueta en Fuego was digitally remastered in high definition. It will be shown at the Saint Louis Art Museum for the first time in this new format.
Ana Mendieta: Alma, Silueta en Fuego is curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, and Molly Moog, research assistant.