February 3, 2019

Gina Pane, Action Psyché, 1973

Her name will be unfamiliar to most, but Gina Pane is “largely considered to be one of the most influential performance artists. Working between Paris and Milan until her death in 1990, she was particularly instrumental in the development of body art, focusing specifically on the female body,” says Richard Saltoun, whose London gallery, a long supporter of the feminist avant-garde, has just announced a 2019 programme devoted entirely to women artists. In May, it will present Action Psyché, a solo exhibition on Pane, revolving around a 1974 performance work of the same name, which hasn’t been seen in public for more than four decades. The work is, Saltoun says, “the most visionary and most intense of all of Pane’s actions”. In the provocative and extreme performance, Pane inflicts wounds about her eyes to induce blood tears, and engraves her own stomach.

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