Lynda Benglis' comfort in unexplored territory has led to an abandonment of traditional media and aesthetics, with the work often occupying an uncanny space between the grotesque and beautiful, between material and flesh.
Throughout her career Lynda Benglis has often taken a serial approach to her work, replicating a process to push her materials to the extremes of their formal potential. Her comfort in unexplored territory has led to an abandonment of traditional media and aesthetics, with the work often occupying an uncanny space between the grotesque and beautiful, between material and flesh. Celebrated for her ability to bring painterly fluidity to sculptural forms, this exhibition showcases three of Benglis’ sculptural styles: ceramic, paper and polyurethane.
The most recent works—the paper sculptures—are composed of a chicken wire armature that is twisted and formed into a rough shape, covered with damp handmade paper and allowed to dry, forming a delicate skin that Benglis adorns with acrylic, glitter, gold leaf, and charcoal. Similarly, the small ceramic forms seem to be flesh frozen in the act of folding and curving around itself, the loose glaze brushwork enhancing their bodily properties. While the otherworldly presence of Benglis’ bubbling fountains and polyurethane wall sculptures undulate with restless energy across their coiled and twisting surfaces. For all their eccentricity, these works are beautiful in their delicacy owing to Benglis’ application of air as a compositional force. By allowing the lack of material to form dimensional negative space, Benglis’ works seem to float across the wall or slither over pedestals.