Tecla Tofano refused to follow the dominant artistic styles set by her male counterparts in 1960s and 1970s Venezuela. When the Zeitgeist demanded abstraction, she explored figuration. When painting was fashionable, Tofano became a ceramist. When Pop Art came to prominence, her sculptures remained uniquely handmade. Tofano countered machismo in Venezuela by fighting for equality between men and women and even promoted gender nonbinary alternatives, like in her exhibition Ella, él… ellos (1978) at Galería de Arte Nacional, Caracas, which featured large ceramic figures of a woman, man, and genderless person. From the mid 1950s to 1963, Tofano made traditional ceramic objects on a potter’s wheel. These were mostly brightly coloured vessels with rough, textured surfaces. From 1964 to 1978 she made hand-moulded works, and large-scale installations, often featuring body parts and consumer objects in roughly finished and asymmetrical styles. On the Way to Liberation (from the series Of the Female Gender) (1975) – one of Tofano’s most significant works – represents a pregnant woman clasping her head between her hands as a snake emerges from her belly and coils around an inverted female symbol and cross, addressing both the sacrifice of maternity and, in a critical mode, the submissive act of motherhood within society.