by M.H. Miller
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.
Lynda Benglis was born in Lake Charles, LA and graduated from Newcomb College with a BFA in 1964. Currently she lives and works between New York, Santa Fe, Greece, and India. The 2009–2011 traveling retrospective Lynda Benglis toured six venues in Europe and the United States, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and the New Museum, New York. Benglis’ work is in numerous public collections including the Dallas Museum of Art; the Guggenheim Museum of Art, NY; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Tate Modern, London; the Walker Art Center, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.