Ana Mendieta (Cuban American, 1948-1985) Bacayu (Esculturas Rupestres) [Light of Day (Rupestrian Sculptures)], 1981 / 2019 Black and white photograph, 40 x 55 in (101.6 x 139.7 cm). Edition 2 of 3 with 2 AP © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection, LLC. Courtesy Galerie Lelong & Co.
Bacayu belongs to Esculturas Rupestres, a group of works she incised in natural caves during her trip to Cuba in July 1981 and named after the goddesses of Taíno, the indigenous people of Cuba. It was Mendieta’s “return to my land, to mother earth.” The feminist artist subverted monumental gestures of Land Art by working at a human scale in the landscape, and leaving no, or minimal, footprint.