Suzanne Santoro

From 'Female Revolt' to the detachment from Carla Lonzi

By La Galleria Nazionale

Corpo a corpo | Body To Body (catalogo)La Galleria Nazionale

Suzanne Santoro
(1946, Brooklyn New York, lives and works in Rome)

In the 1960s, Suzanne Santoro moved to Rome where she studied classical sculpture. Her research immediately focused on restoring those characteristics of the female image that had been intentionally hidden or transformed by the patriarchal tradition of visual arts.

This investigation is conducted through the combination of female anatomical details, above all the vagina, and natural or historical-artistic or architectural elements

Materiale divulgativo, Oggetto 26 (1971 - settembre 1990) by Lonzi MartaLa Galleria Nazionale

With the emergence of feminist movements in the 1960s, the body becomes the privileged means of expression for artists. Riding this wave of self-awareness also from a physical point of view, in 1974 Suzanne Santoro published the artist’s libretto Per una espressione nuova / Towards a New Expression, whose cover still bears the name of 'Rivolta Femminile' in the first edition of that year.

Comunicazione e distribuzione, Oggetto 19 (1970 - gennaio 1981) by Lonzi CarlaLa Galleria Nazionale

This bilingual publication dialogues in particular with Lonzi’s essay La donna clitoridea e la donna vaginale, as it focuses on the sexual autonomy of women and the representation of the female sex

Centro studi e documentazione pensiero femminile, Oggetto 7 (19 marzo 1996 - maggio 1996) by Lonzi MartaLa Galleria Nazionale

However, Carla Lonzi didn’t like the publication, refusing to recognize it as an independent form of expression from male culture. The lot of this libretto in the story of Rivolta Femminile shows to what extent the idea of a feminist artistic expression was incompatible with Carla Lonzi’s detachment from the world of art.

Corpo a corpo | Body To Body (catalogo)La Galleria Nazionale

In this work, Santoro makes a study on the statues of the Roman era, to which she links the anatomical details of the female sex, observed and studied closely. The starting point of Santoro’s work is the removal of the female sex in the Western visual tradition.

Corpo a corpo | Body To Body (catalogo)La Galleria Nazionale

The book, which was censored by the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London in 1977, is the essential point of the artist’s research, which explores these themes and creates parts of female bodies using resin and drawing as media.

Corpo a corpo | Body To Body (catalogo)La Galleria Nazionale

The break with Lonzi is incurable, and Santoro leaves 'Rivolta Femminile'. Two years later, in 1976, she founded 'Cooperativa del Beato Angelico' in Rome, an art space for female artists, along with other artists who had abandoned Rivolta Femminile.

Paola Ugolini

Credits: Story

Paola Ugolini

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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