Images

Lynda Benglis floor pour Locks Gallery

Corner Piece, 1969

poured pigmented latex

125 x 120 inches

Lynda Benglis wax painting Locks Gallery

Pinto, 1971

pigmented beeswax, damar resin

36 x 5 x 3 inches

Lynda Benglis Sculpture Locks Gallery

Wing, 1970

cast aluminum

67 x 59 1/4 x 60 inches
Collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Lynda Benglis

Juliet, 1990

stainless steel mesh and aluminum

84 x 78 x 18 inches

Lynda Benglis floor pour Locks Gallery

Contraband, 1969

poured pigmented latex

388 x 111 inches

Installation at Locks Gallery
Collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY

Lynda Benglis wax painting Locks Gallery

Bundi, 1971

pigmented beeswax, damar resin

36 x 5 x 3 inches
Collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art

Lynda Benglis Sculpture Locks Gallery

Eat Meat, 1973
cast bronze, ed. 1 of 2
24 x 80 x 54 in
Exhibited in 2002 at Locks Gallery
Installation at The New Museum

Lynda Benglis floor pour Locks Gallery

Odalisque: Hey Hey Frankenthaler, 1969
poured pigment latex, 168 x 34 1/2 inches 
Collection of Dallas Art Museum

Lynda Benglis wax painting Locks Gallery

Untitled (Wax Piece), 1966

wax and gesso on masonite and wood

65 x 5 x 1 1/2 inches

Lynda Benglis Locks Gallery

Rumple, 1977
chicken wire, plaster, cotton, gesso, gold leaf
36 x 9 x 4 inches

Lynda Benglis Locks Gallery

Raptor, 1995-96
stainless steel, wire mesh, zinc, aluminum, silicone bronze
46 x 77 x 18 inches

Press Release

Locks Gallery will exhibit a dozen major works by the sculptor Lynda Benglis including cast metal floor works like Eat Meat, wall mounted metal works, latex pours, and exemplary wax paintings. Benglis, who was born in Lake Charles, LA, in 1941, began her career as a painter.  Moving to New York in 1964, she quickly became immersed in that city's art community at a critical moment in its development.  Deeply influenced by the seemingly contradictory work of Jackson Pollock, Claes Oldenburg, and Carl Andre, Benglis began making lushly-colored wax paintings on wood.  At a time when most critically-acclaimed work was either dryly conceptual or over-whelmingly expressionistic, Benglis was making work that was concerned with the body, in particular the female body, and toed the thin line between beauty and repulsion.

In the late 1960s, Benglis began a series of paintings made directly on the floor.  Mimicking the poured paintings of Pollock and Helen Frankenthaler, these works (two of which are included in this exhibition) subverted the dry formalism of the time and led to instant celebrity.  Between 1969 and 1974, Benglis was given fifteen solo shows and included in dozens of international group exhibitions.  The artist, not yet thirty, was featured in Life magazine and the New York Times Magazine.  Feminism became one of the competing discourses of the time and Benglis was one of a small group of female artists, including Jennifer Bartlett and Elizabeth Murray, who achieved international acclaim.

Benglis's work continued to evolve during the 1970s leading to large-scale sculptures and installations made from polyurethane foam.  Some of these works were cast in metal, including Eat Meat, a large pile of oozing bronze and Wing, a cantilevered aluminum piece that effortlessly flys from the wall.  These works were followed by series wall-mounted constructions that resembled knotted arms or eruptions of pleated fabric. Most recently she has made knotted masses of bronze and glass suggesting brains or microscopic specimens.  

Benglis has refused to be pigeon-holed into a specific style and her output has been varied and open.  However, some themes have been consistent in her work including a fascination with the beauty and abjectness of the body; the marriage of kitsch and decoration to an ambiguous organic abstraction; and a very personal and idiosyncratic approach to feminism and formalism.

Though not widely known, her work has generated considerable attention from writers and curators.  Roberta Smith in the New York Times recently called her "a supremely intuitive physical artist with an extravagant sensibility."  Her works has influenced several of the most prominent younger artists working today including Matthew Barney, Robert Gober, Cindy Sherman and Kiki Smith.  Many of the pieces included in this exhibition are considered pivotal works of late twentieth century art.