Lynda Benglis, American, Zita, 1972, Cotton bunting, plaster, acrylic paint and glitter over aluminum screen; 87.6 x 97.8 x 34.3 cm (34 1/2 x 38 1/2 x 13 1/2 inches), Mary B. Jackson Fund 2006.73
Lynda Benglis was not yet thirty years old when her wax paintings and poured latex and polyurethane sculptures began to receive critical attention. A pioneering figure in the transformation of sculpture during the 1960s and 1970s, Benglis continued to experiment with new materials and explore form in wall pieces during the mid-1970s. She layered cotton bunting and plaster over a wire-mesh armature for Zita, part of her Sparkle Knot series, and decorated the piece with dazzling color. The use of glitter and other shiny craft materials refers to a stereotypical femininity, superficiality, and ‘dressing up’ mentality. This bow form also suggests twisted appendages or internal organs. A contrast to the impersonal, masculine overtones of much abstract and Minimalist sculpture from this period, Benglis’s work seemed subversive.