Senga Nengudi
American, born 1943
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Emerging
Represented by up-and-coming galleries.
Collected by a major museum
Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2018
West by Midwest,
MCA Chicago
2016
Circa 1970,
The Studio Museum in Harlem
2012
Tilton Gallery at Expo Chicago 2012,
Tilton Gallery

Among the first artists to exhibit at Just Above Midtown, New York’s first gallery to regularly feature African American artists, Senga Nengudi expresses her ideas about the human body through performance-based sculptures and installations. Her best-known work R.S.V.P. (1975)—so called because the artist really wanted people to respond—was an installation of sand-filled, dark-hued pantyhose knotted and stretched into all directions. “It relates to the elasticity of the human body," Nengudi said. "From tender, tight beginnings to sagging… The body can only stand so much push and pull until it gives way." Her more recent work has included performative installations, variously incorporating ritual dance, sand painting, original music and videos, and cross-cultural references to the crafts of indigenous cultures around the world.