WHEN A RETROSPECTIVE as significant as Croatian artist Sanja Iveković’s “Sweet Violence” doesn’t travel at all, a comprehensive catalogue becomes all the more important. Fortunately, this eponymous summary of the show—which New York’s MoMA featured this past winter—delivers the crucial political and cultural background behind Iveković’s work. The lead essay, by the show’s curator, Roxana Marcoci, details Iveković’s native art scene before, during, and after Croatia’s post-Communist transition, providing context for the ideas and stories that inform the past four decades of the artist’s groundbreaking feminist output.
And what stories there are. Some may seem familiar, echoing iconic performances by Carolee Schneemann and Hannah Wilke: For 1979’s Trokut (Triangle), Iveković adorned herself with props that
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