Image: Untitled
(Providence, Rhode Island, 1931 - )

Untitled , 1966

Painted iron, fiberglass and fabric
41 in. x 29 in. x 8 in. (104.14 cm x 73.66 cm x 20.32 cm)
Gift of Leo Castelli, Castelli Galleries
alternate view, detail
Lee Bontecou first earned attention in the early 1960s for wall sculptures constructed using metal, canvas, denim, tarpaulin, epoxy and fiberglass. The deep voids and menacing elements in these works have been associated with Bontecou coming of age during World War II and her habit of listening to Cold War era short wave radio broadcasts as she worked. Her wall reliefs, all of which are untitled, offer many dualities, including their ability to be viewed simultaneously as painting and sculpture. 'Untitled' belongs to a group of painted metal compositions that are described as Bontecou’s Prison Series. These works date to the mid-1960s and are characterized by their rectangular forms, sharp toothy elements and—most prominently—the striations that recall prison suits. Although her materials are industrial, these sculptures also have human references, with round holes suggesting orifices and garment racks evoking rows of teeth.
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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