This article is an analysis of artist-activist Nancy Spero’s War Series paintings, 1966–70. The author analyzes her paintings from this crucial time period within the context of significant historical events that impacted her artistic development of themes, formal devices, and radical breaks from numerous canonical art tenets. Within the emergence of the American political and artistic Left, Spero’s political radicalism became the foundation of her artistic content and studio practice. From this foundation, as an early feminist artist, Spero produced a wide-ranging figurative oeuvre that pioneered a new lexicon of image/text and figure/ground conjunctions, overturning the prescriptive universalist ideals of modern art.

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