(Lake Charles, Louisiana, 1941 - )
Lives New York and Santa Fe
American sculptor Lynda Benglis received a B.F.A. from Newcomb College (now part of Tulane University) in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1964. Influenced by the work of Abstract Expressionists such as Franz Kline and Barnett Newman, Benglis arrived on the New York art scene in the late 1960s. Her best-known works question the starkness of Modernism and Minimalism by merging material, form, and content, and adding color to sculpture. These works include her layered wax paintings and poured latex and polyurethane foam sculptures of the late 1960s and early 1970s; innovative videos, installations, and “knots” from the 1970s; metalized, pleated wall pieces in bronze and aluminum of the 1980s and 1990s; and pieces in a variety of other mediums, such as glass, ceramics and photography.
One of Benglis's most notorious works is the full-color advertisement she placed in the November 1974 issue of Artforum, in which she posed nude in an aggressively provocative pose. By inserting the ad in a prominent contemporary art magazine, Benglis confronted sexuality, feminism, and female representation, while questioning commercial promotion and the way artists use themselves to sell their works.
Known for her exploration of sexual and biomorphic shapes, Benglis focuses on the physicality of form and how it affects the viewer, using a wide range of materials to render energetic impressions of mass and surface. Her influence can be seen in the work of many later artists, including Roxy Paine’s melted pigmented polyethylene plastic sculptures and the floor pieces of Polly Apfelbaum.