“Carl Broke Something”: On Carl Andre, Ana Mendieta, and the Cult of the Male Genius

Maya Gurantz reflects on Carl Andre, Ana Mendieta, and the cult of the male genius in contemporary art for the Los Angeles Review of Books (July 10, 2017):

“After a five-year worldwide tour, sculptor Carl Andre’s major retrospective has reached its final stop at MoCA in Los Angeles. The museum has appeared to make minor fanfare on its behalf.

“There has been little to no advertising of the show. The opening wasn’t well attended.

“A friend who did attend told me it felt awkward, what with protestors on the outside and angry women walking beside embarrassed boyfriends on the inside. The protests and anger had to do with the fact that in 1985 Carl Andre’s wife, artist Ana Mendieta, was found dead on the concrete outside their building, having fallen over 30 stories. Did she jump or was she pushed? Andre was acquitted for the murder due to lack of evidence and has continued to make art and money over the past 30 years. But many people remain convinced he was responsible for her death, and every opening of the retrospective has inspired protests.”