When an Artist Dies, Who Owns Her Story?

When an Artist Dies, Who Owns Her Story?

The Cuban artist Ana Mendieta fell from a window of her 34th-floor apartment in 1985. Her family members have been fighting for control of her legacy ever since.

By Kate Dwyrer

It was an evening in late January, and Raquel Cecilia Mendieta was dining at the Parador, the 12th-century monastery-turned-hotel where she was staying while she installed artwork for a new survey of Ana Mendieta, the famous Cuban-born performance artist — and Ms. Mendieta’s maternal aunt — at a nearby museum.

It had been a long day of assembling logs, soil, pine cones and branches into a reimagining of the artist’s “Untitled: Silueta Series” inside the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, and her dinner companions — her 15-year-old daughter, Anabella, and Grace Hong, the assistant director at Galerie Lelong, which represents the Ana Mendieta estate — were still jet-lagged after traveling from New York.

But they jumped when, after plates of bacalao and glasses of white wine had been cleared, Ms. Mendieta checked her phone and exclaimed, “Oh my god!” Read the full piece at the New York Times.

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