Lynda Benglis (American, b. 1941) has challenged prevailing views about the nature and function of art for more than forty years. Featuring sculpture, painting, video, and photography, this exhibition represents the extraordinary breadth and invention of her output dating from the 1960s to today.
Benglis’s early work questioned the austerity of 1960s Minimalism. She reintroduced color into sculpture and moved painting off the wall, merging material, form, and content in novel ways. Experimentation with a remarkable variety of materials—from traditional art materials including bronze, goldleaf, and ceramics to those not normally associated with works of art such as industrial pigmented polyurethane foam and latex—has been a consistent hallmark of her approach. The physical process of creating her characteristically robust and fluid forms—by pouring, knotting, twisting, or otherwise manipulating substances and surfaces—is often visible in Benglis’s finished pieces. Although primarily abstract, her sculptural objects reveal inspiration from the landscape and the human body.
Benglis’s penchant for self-representation—in print, photographs, and video—influenced artists coming of age in the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s who appropriated imagery from the mass media. With startling humor, Benglis’s posed images of herself underscore how popular culture impacts gender roles and power relationships, both personal and political. Today Benglis continues to revisit and develop materials and ideas. She confronts standards of taste through formal experimentation marked by a sense of freedom and expansiveness.