Geisha, 2017

cast sparkles on handmade paper over chicken wire, ground coal with acrylic medium, and acrylic

59 x 15 3/4 x 13 inches

Contrapposto, 2017

handmade paper over chicken wire, acrylic

25 x 28 1/2 x 13 3/4 inches

Locks Gallery Lynda Benglis Pinyon Jay

Pinyon Jay, 2014

handmade paper, acrylic, gold leaf and wire

89 x 8 x 11 inches

Locks Gallery Lynda Benglis Red Flanked Bluetail

Red-Flanked Bluetail, 2014

handmade paper, acrylic, encaustic, gold leaf and wire

20 1/2 x 10 x 7 1/2 inches

Lynda Benglis paper Locks Gallery

Bohemian Waxwing, 2014

handmade paper, wire, acrylic, encaustic wax

24 x 12 x 9 1/2 inches

Locks Gallery Lynda Benglis Northern Wheatear

Northern Wheatear, 2015

handmade paper, acrylic, encaustic and wire

19 x 10 x 7 1/2 inches

Locks Gallery Lynda Benglis

King Pin II, 2007

cast silver

13 x 19 x 10 1/2 inches

Locks Galley Lynda Benglis Dorado

Dorado, 1982

bronze wire, aluminum, bronzed aluminum and lacquer coating

36 x 25 x 8 inches

Locks Gallery Lynda Benglis Circinus

Circinus, 1985

bronze wire mesh, zinc and aluminum

55 x 75 x 21 1/4 inches

Lynda Benglis Locks Gallery Serpollet

Serpollet, 1987

aluminum wire mesh and polished aluminum

41 x 56 x 19 inches

Lynda Benglis pleat Locks Gallery

Megisti II, 1984

bronze mesh and aluminum

77 x 53 x 18 inches

Lynda Benglis Locks Gallery Hydra

Hydra, 1982

zinc and aluminum on bronze mesh

48 1/2 x 48 x 12 inches 

Lynda Benglis pleat Locks Gallery

Miata, 1986

bronze mesh, nickel and copper

64 x 36 x 12 inches

Locks Gallery Lynda Benglis Tukki

Tukki, 1982

wire mesh, sprayed copper, aluminum and acrylic lacquer coating

38 1/2 x 16 x 11 1/2 inches

Lynda Benglis Locks Gallery Kearny Street Bows and Fans

Kearny Street Bows and Fans, 1985

five bronze, nickel and chrome wall sculpture elements

each 50 x 36 inches

Press Release

Over the course of her career, Benglis has worked extensively with heavy industrial materials such as lead, steel, and plastics, but her recent works find material poetry in the lithe malleability of chicken-wire and paper. The artist stretches dampened, handmade paper over amorphous wire forms, giving them “skins” that are then often varnished and marked with paint, charcoal, and glitter. In three works from 2017, the spare application of paper emphasizes negative space within the wire armatures; air becomes a material on equal footing with paper and wire, the latter seeming to float like garments on invisible bodies. The objects’ titles—Contrapposto, Geisha, and Venitian Opera—underscore references to figurative sources, while others such as Pinyon Jay (2015) and Bohemian Waxwing (2014) are named for birds native to the desert landscape surrounding the artist’s Santa Fe studio.

Pleated metal sculptures in this installation appear as clear predecessors to Benglis’s newest work. These are made from industrial metal meshes that she began to experiment with in the early 1980s, pleating, twisting, and knotting the rigid sheets before coating them with liquid aluminum or bronze. The resulting forms are most readily compared to fabric frozen in motion, recalling the frozen dynamism of draperies in Hellenistic figure sculpture. Despite their evident physical weight, they express a lightness surprisingly comparable to the recent works installed alongside them.

Two earlier pieces trace Benglis’s sculptural use of paper to the late 1970s. Packing shredded paper into molds like clay to create totem-like forms, Benglis transforms paper from a surface meant for drawing or painting into a sculptural medium, a gesture that can be seen in continuity with her poured latex installations of the late ‘60s, that so memorably entangled painting and sculpture. For Benglis, such boundaries of media have always been inconsequential, for under her influence materials become interchangeably fluid. Her newest work, synthesizing this rich history of experimentation, continues to bend us between sensations of heaviness and lightness, surface and form, solid and air.