STORM KING ART CENTER
Storm King Art Center
Lynda Benglis Water Sources
Storm King Art Center
Foreword John P. Stern
Lynda Benglis: Water Sources Nora R. Lawrence
Lynda Benglis: In Conversation
FOREWORD In its presentation of new and rarely exhibited works, Lynda Benglis: Water Sources is a revelation even to those quite familiar with the artist’s career. This is the first time that a group of Lynda’s outdoor fountain sculptures has been shown, several of which have never been displayed. The combination of these complex and organic works, sited in Storm King’s landscape with long views of the Hudson River Valley, is stunning. The artist is peripatetic and seems to draw inspiration from moving between New Mexico, East Hampton, New York City, the Greek Islands (where water and light are dominant), and Ahmedabad, India. The influence of the diverse cultures and landscapes that Lynda Benglis inhabits is evident in the colors, materials and titles of the works on view, as Curator Nora R. Lawrence’s essay details. During the past two years I have enjoyed rich discussions with Lynda in her New Mexico studio, in New York City and at Storm King. The talented and dedicated board of trustees and staff of Storm King Art Center made Lynda Benglis: Water Sources possible. David R. Collens, Director and Chief Curator, and Nora R. Lawrence conceived of and curated this focused and unprecedented exhibition. In the curatorial department, Theresa Choi and Mary Ann Carter worked with David and Nora on exhibition planning and research. Even for Storm King, known for our large-scale sculptures and works of land art, the installation of this exhibition was an exceptional feat. Our installation team, led by Mike Seaman and including Robert Finch, Joel Longinott, Armando Ocampo, Mike Odynsky, and Howard Seaman, planned and carried out every aspect of installation and grounds preparation, always in close communication with Lynda Benglis. The exhibition is much the richer for them. Many other people at Storm King worked to facilitate this exhibition. Rachel Coker worked with her Development team, including Mary Ann Carron, Brian Flannery, Lisa Harmon, Rhema Mangus, and Amy Zaltzman, to raise funds for the exhibition and to plan opening events. Victoria Lichtendorf and the Education team—Ellen Grenley, Helen Hydos, and Joe Klarl—have developed a rich program of public events
around the exhibition. Anthony Davidowitz worked with Amy Brown as well as with Fitz & Co. to promote the exhibition, and worked with Colleen Zlock to arrange for a limited edition, Peace of Heaven, and other retail items that Lynda Benglis and Walla Walla Foundry generously donated to Storm King. Amanda Glesmann, Anne Ray, and the Chair of our Board of Trustees, James H. Ottaway, Jr. have all lent this volume, and the exhibition, their editing skills. Sarita Dubin, Nicole Root and Irene Chin at the Benglis Studio have been essential and wise colleagues; this exhibition would not have been possible without their help. Cheim & Read, led by John Cheim and Howard Read, has also provided critical support, and we thank Martin Aguilera, Karen Polack, and Ellen Robinson in particular. John Cheim and Ellen Robinson designed this beautiful volume. Lynda Benglis: Water Sources is made possible by generous lead support from Roberta and Steven Denning, Agnes Gund, Hazen Polsky Foundation, Ohnell Charitable Lead Trust, and Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust. Additional support is provided by Janet Inskeep Benton, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Helis Foundation, the May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Rosen, Hume R. Steyer and Nanahya C. Santana, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, and the Vance Wall Foundation. Support for this publication is provided by Cheim & Read, New York. I am deeply thankful to Lynda Benglis, an artist of great talent and creativity. When we approached Lynda about doing an exhibition, she was in the midst of creating several large-scale sculptures at various foundries; our timing seemed serendipitous. We are delighted to display this beautiful, significant, and original body of work at Storm King. John P. Stern President, Storm King Art Center
LYNDA BENGLIS: WATER SOURCES by NORA LAWRENCE Artist Lynda Benglis (b. 1941) is known for her inquisitiveness, originality, and sculptural achievements across a broad range of materials—both traditional, such as wax, bronze, paper, and clay, and nontraditional, such as natural latex rubber and polyurethane foam. Her process embraces chance while maintaining deft artistic control. Based in human scale, her works engage with larger patterns of flow and movement, extending her exploration of motion across all natural forms. However, Benglis’s interest in water as a source of inspiration has never been fully explored. Storm King Art Center’s exhibition Lynda Benglis: Water Sources is the first to feature the outdoor fountains that the artist has been developing since the early 1980s—and it marks Storm King’s first presentation of artistic fountains. Raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana, surrounded by lakes, rivers, and marshes, Benglis has long felt a deep connection to water, and she sees a natural connection between people and water. We are buoyant in the womb, she has noted, and upon our exit, “we are walking water vessels ourselves.”1 Benglis considered working with fountains—and more generally, explored connections between water and her own artistic practice— for years before the creation of her first fountain piece, and she traces that interest to her roots in Lake Charles, which left an indelible imprint from a young age: Lake Charles, Louisiana. It is a cow town. They grow rice. It was a big rice producer and was known early on for that. There are a lot of bayous and the River Calcasieu and there is a Lake Charles. It was connected also to the canal that serviced the ships from Florida to Texas. I remember very early on the water there and the fact that my dad once took me to the lake, Lake Charles, the shores, and he got a clam and he opened it and we ate.2 Of her later experience in high school, she recalls: “I was surfing the waterways in my little boat—a speed boat with a 35-horsepower Evinrude motor—waterskiing in the bayous and the like and the
The Wave of the World 1983–84 bronze 109 x 82 x 186 in 276.9 x 208.3 x 472.4 cm 10
waterways there. I knew every bit of it.”3 She remembers spending quite a bit of time in boats, creating small boats out of leaves and sticks, and playing with thick mud and clay she found just outside the door of her house. After graduating from Newcomb College in New Orleans, Benglis moved to New York City in 1964 and took courses at the Brooklyn Museum School of Art, quickly becoming an integral part of a burgeoning community of young artists. Early friends included Barnett and Annalee Newman, Carl Andre, Jennifer Bartlett, Eva Hesse, Joan Mitchell, and many others who, like Benglis, would become the vanguard of their generation.4 She worked part-time at the Bykert Gallery, and showed one example of her own work (a wax painting created in a basement studio on Ninth Street) there for the first time in 1968, followed shortly thereafter with a full exhibition of wax paintings at Paula Cooper Gallery in 1969.5 She summered in East Hampton (ultimately building a home and studio there), and became interested in the patterns created by waves lapping onto the shore and slipping back into the ocean. “I’ve long been involved with the kinetic feeling of the ocean, the sense of the ocean and water, the wave forms, the patterns the waves play on the sand,” she has said. “I think looking at all of this has affected my feeling of rhythm. And the idea of weightlessness or buoyancy in water has affected my sensibility.”6 Fueled by a recurring interest in harnessing movement in her work, Benglis revisited these waves, as well as the slicks of oil she had observed boats creating in the bayous near Lake Charles, in her poured floor-works of natural latex rubber, including Contraband (1969). Although Benglis drew plans for water fountains as early as the late 1970s, her first opportunity to execute one came with a commission. In 1982, Benglis submitted photographs of a maquette for her proposed fountain for the First International Water Sculpture Competition at the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans, the theme of which was “The World of Rivers: Fresh Waters as a Source of Life.” The jury was formidable, composed of Henry Hopkins, Director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; E. L. L. de Wilde, Director of the Stedelijk Museum in the Netherlands; John Bullard, Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art; Otto Piene, Director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; and an unnamed
Embryo II 1967 purified pigmented beeswax, damar resin and gesso on masonite 36 x 5 x 5 in 91.4 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York 12
“representative from the Orient.”7 Its charge was to select up to ten sculptures that the Louisiana World Exhibition would commission for its 82-acre site, which encompassed both indoor and outdoor spaces. In Benglis’s photographs of this early maquette, she placed a small figurine created by sculptor Tom Otterness next to it to create a sense of scale. On December 30, 1982, Benglis received a letter announcing that she had been selected as a “pre-finalist”; hers ultimately became one of three successful entries (and the only one created by a Louisiana native) from among hundreds of applicants. The fountain at the World Exposition was entitled The Wave of the World—a title prescribed by the fair’s organizers, not chosen by Benglis.8 According to the “Detailed Description of Work” in the contract, the piece would be “eight and three-quarters feet high with a seventeenfoot-long cantilever at a fifty-five to sixty-five degree angle from the base. The top of the Wave is eight feet wide.”9 (The completed work was slightly larger still.) Benglis outlined a few different possibilities Maquette I “Wave,” proposal for bronze, 1982 for the sculpture in polyurethane foam with gold leaf. 11 ½ x 11 x 14 ¾ in. her proposal, in part (Figure by Tom Otterness) anticipating questions regarding the cost and feasibility of casting the work in bronze, but also revealing her interest in the more ethereal facets of her materials. In an addendum to her undated 1983 proposal for the water sculpture project, Benglis gives an option that speaks to connective links she has seen between water and phosphorescence, which would not be explicitly connected in any works for several decades: “Another possibility for surfacing the bronze wave is a phosphorescent lacquer. This proposal would be preferable without water . . . it would be lit with vapor lighting and a three-minute timer . . . During the day, the coloration is a phosphorescent green; at night, it emits a radiant glow.” Benglis’s earlier work reveals clear precedents for The Wave of the World. She began creating cantilevered sculptures in 1971, when
Benglis at the Walker Art Center, 1971, working on Adhesive Products 13
Phantom 1971 polyurethane foam with phosphorescence 102 x 420 x 96 in 259.1 x 1066.8 x 243.8 cm Installation at Union Art Gallery, Kansas State University
she made Phantom and similar pieces on-site at five United States museums, and at Paula Cooper Gallery. These works each extended out—in related, consecutive forms—from the wall of a gallery space. They were created in poured polyurethane—a material Benglis acquired directly from its developer, M. P. Medwick, and which, though useful for many purposes, would soon become commonly known as insulation foam—and were supported with one-by-twoinch lengths of wood and a pliable sheath crafted of chicken wire. The model for The Wave of the World also was created from poured polyurethane, but Benglis formed its core by pouring the medium over a large weather balloon, the origin of its symmetrical, smooth, hollowed underside. To connect and extend the weather balloon’s form, she used a wire sheath, and she supported the work with one-by-twos and thick sheets of clear plastic, along which the polyurethane dripped, creating the shape of the sculpture’s tapered bottom half, like the tail of an animal. The process of pouring materials has been central to Benglis’s production since the late 1960s. For works like Contraband, Benglis added colors to cans of natural latex rubber, and poured the colors directly onto the floor, guiding—but never dictating—their course. She has remained open to and enthused about new materials throughout her career. (Her father owned a successful building materials business, perhaps steering Benglis toward a lifetime of material experimentation.) As early as 1969, she began to pour and layer polyurethane—often using a different, bright color for each layer—to create works such as the five-foot-tall For Carl Andre (1970), which sat directly on the ground, but with a buoyant physicality absent from flat precedents like Contraband.10 The polyurethane naturally expands in a regular, mounded manner, creating soft, overlapping curves and rounded edges. The effect of pouring in space, such as the method employed for The Wave of the World or Phantom, is that the foam slowly expands and dries under the force of gravity, which pulls the form into thin, unpredictable tendrils at its farthest reaches. For Benglis, the water across the surface of her fountains continues the implied movement of the sculpture itself, extending it from the implied to the actual. She has spoken of her works as theatrical, and she sees the water as critical to this: “I’m not the performer. The water is the performer.”10
Contraband 1969 dayglo pigment and poured latex 388 x 111 in 985.5 x 281.9 cm Collection Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 17
Benglis’s earliest extant fountain plans can be traced to the preliminary design of her four-part sculptural fountain North South East West, a design conceived between 1977 and 1979 for a proposed monument of the same name with four gold-leafed bronze “wings” cantilevered out from four sides of an obelisk—wings that from some angles resemble wild limbs of a tree. Initially, in 1987–88, she executed only one element of North South East West, which became the single-part bronze fountain Chimera (or alternately, Cicada).11 She formed the structure by pouring polyurethane over a Ming vase she found by the side of a road outside Ahmedabad, India, and transported to her studio in East Hampton. When invited to show the work in Dublin in 2009, she realized that it would have a stronger presence as a four-part sculpture of identical elements; recalling her earlier ideas for North South East West, she cast Chimera three more times and located each element on a cardinal point. Unlike her original conception, however, each element of the North South East West fountain reaches inward, toward a central point, rather than extending outward—Benglis has described the effect as “imploding,” like slowmoving lava caught midNorth South East West Elevation 1979 lithograph 22 x 30 in motion. Over the winter of 2014–15, Benglis created a new, singular sculpture, Crescendo, by reconceiving and adding elements to a new casting of The Wave of the World. She also added new elements to an existing cast of North South East West, working with Jeffrey Spring and his team at Modern Art Foundry in Queens, New York. Having recovered the original Wave of the World, which had been missing for many years following the bankruptcy of the 1984 World Exposition, she made a mold and, ultimately, an additional bronze cast of the piece. (The original, happily, is now restored and on view at City Park in New Orleans.) She poured additional polyurethane over and beside this new casting, ultimately creating a completely new sculpture in Crescendo. She also reworked North South East West, adding pre-cast
The Wave of the World in progress with Palladium Wave below, 1983 Photo: Peter Sumner Walton Bellamy 20
bronze elements to it to create a type of “collaged sculpture.”12 Even this type of layered creation over time has a precedent with sea life, as Benglis has explained: “The result is this kind of crustacean—like a shellfish, or a snail on top of another thing, making its home out of this thing.” For The Wave of the World, she reset the position of twelve holes down the back, guiding water through each one so that it pooled in the divots of the bronze before gently trickling down the back of the sculpture or dripping off the front. Fountains like The Wave of the World and North South East West are simultaneously magnificent and foreboding. As art historian Susan Richmond observed, “The bronze component of The Wave appears to shift, even erode, under the effects of the water cascading up and over its variegated surface.”13 Benglis has likened these undulating surfaces to the ever-moving, overlapping waves on a shoreline: one reaching land just as another, possibly beneath, recedes into the sea. Benglis created the striking sculptural fountain Pink Lady (for Asha) (2013) in part as a tribute to India, where she has spent a large part of the last thirty years. Her lifelong engagement with the country and its culture began in the autumn of 1979, with a residency at the home of the Sarabhai family in Ahmedabad, where she stayed for six weeks. The following spring she visited again, for five months. She found her life partner there, the late Anand Sarabhai, a geneticist and patron of the arts. The vivid pink color of the fountain is inspired by a single kite that Benglis saw with Anand’s sister-in-law Asha Sarabhai during an annual kite-flying festival in Ahmedabad in January 2013, when Anand was ill. They noticed it because it had become caught on a tree.14 The color choice also acknowledges the observation by fashion editor Diana Vreeland that pink is “the navy blue of India”15—it’s a color profuse and natural, yet it remains arresting. “I was thinking about this pink for a long time because it’s a pink that is rarely seen in nature, but you see it in flowers; you see it in rhododendrons, azaleas, in lilies, [and] sometimes people wear the pink,” Benglis remarked. “But it’s not a pink that you think of as the pink of the tongue or the pink of the blood; it’s not a pink that appears on or in the body. It is the kind of decorative pink, and the pink really works in the [fountain] form, it gives life to the form.”16 Benglis has also created a small, related sculpture—a precedent for these larger fountains—in her studio in Santa Fe, consisting of a series of four stacked Styrofoam
For Carl Andre 1970 pigmented polyurethane foam 56 1/4 x 53 1/2 x 46 3/16 in 142.9 x 135.9 x 117.3 cm Collection Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth 21
cups—the lowest upended, the rest arranged bottom to top, and frozen together with a russet polyurethane. Storm King’s exhibition combines Pink Lady (for Asha) in a single pool with Pink Ladies, a two-part sculptural fountain of the same hue, created in 2014. (She worked with Walla Walla Foundry in Washington to arrive at the bright-pink hue, infused in rigid, translucent polyurethane—a material and technique Benglis first used around 1998 for the round wall reliefs she has referred to as “braincoral,” in reference to both the human body and to forms seen scuba diving.17) These sculptures all reference the human form, as their titles indicate. They are columnar, but bodily, recalling an earlier group of “ladies”—the caryatids on the Erechtheion at the north end of the Acropolis in Athens. Benglis remembers these figures as the first works of classical art she ever saw, on a trip to Greece with her Greek grandmother at age eleven.18 The fumblingly balanced, concentric cones of her sculptures seem to mimic the curves of the human figure, standing in contrapposto. The open, cup-shaped layers seem on the cusp of a shift, a movement, an effect only accentuated by the water pouring down and through them, pooling in each cone before settling in the bottom of the fountain. That the sculptures are feminine, and classical, is purposeful. Benglis’s father’s family emigrated from Greece in the early twentieth century, and references to the country and its heritage recur in many of her sculptures—such as the related, non-fountain work The Graces (2003–5), which invokes a trio of ancient Greek goddesses in its three clear, cast-polyurethane forms the same general shape and size as the Pink Ladies and which take on refracted colors surrounding them, often pink and purple. For these and other works, Benglis began with a model created from pressurized foam—she has referred to her application of foam from a canister as a process of drawing. This method of application also makes visual allusion to the water’s edge. The rugose patterns created as the foam is applied resemble those created as small crabs and crustaceans dig into the sand at the littoral zone of the seashore and kick up sand behind and above them. This allusion is also present in the two-part, bronze fountain Double Fountain, Mother and Child, For Anand (2007), in which Benglis embraced a sense of playfulness: “The smaller one was almost like a jumping porpoise, or some such animal leaping out of the water,” she noted, “and the larger one was twisted in a contrapposto fashion, looking at the child.”19
Bounty, Amber Waves, and Fruited Plane—three identical sculptures, and the tallest Benglis has created—resemble Pink Ladies in form and structure, but they reach a spindly twenty-five feet into the air. Each has a homemade feel, as though considered and assembled part by part: purposely off-balance, purposely imprecise. But their repetitious pattern of width and narrowness—the base of one upright cornucopia leading into the opening of the next—and great height recall Constantin Brancusi’s Endless Column (1938), the influential modernist sculptor’s great achievement in Târgu Jiu, Romania. Endless Column was revered by artists commonly called Minimalists, artists just older than Benglis, including Andre, Donald Judd, and Frank Stella, many of whom became her friends and acquaintances upon her arrival in New York in 1964. The formality and logic-driven structure of Endless Column’s consecutive, identical diamonds rising into the sky captured their imagination—the idea that his design for the column could repeat, as the title indicates, without end. (Brancusi capped Endless Column with half a diamond, a gesture that has been taken to indicate the possibility of infinite continuation.) Benglis spoke of her feelings toward the Minimalist posture in a 2009 interview: “[Frank] Stella would say, ‘Well, I just turned the two-by-four on its side because it was kind of an accident and I liked it.’ And then [Donald] Judd would say, ‘Why don’t I call up and order one in every color?’ They were . . . kind of mocking their involvement, their aesthetic involvement. And of course Barnett Newman, their man, would say, you know, ‘Aesthetics is for artists as ornithology is to birds’ . . . So there was that in the air, and they followed it to the most logical degree.”20 Here, Benglis’s work diverges: where the Minimalists celebrated the invisibility of the artist’s hand, she embraced its specific, subjective touch. Many of Benglis’s fountains have several points of reference or association, not all of them related to each other. The trio Summer Dreams, Storm Pattern, and Thunderbird (all 2003)—each of which is small enough to be powered by a pump designed for a domestic fish tank—were titled after the sunny names given to specific nuclear explosions, and resemble the mushroom clouds that fill the sky in the wake of detonation. “The explosions were beautiful . . . yet we know how menacing that beauty was,” Benglis notes. She strives to create abstract forms that can transcend specific associations, shifting from mushroom clouds to plumes of moss. This, she says, more closely mirrors her creative process, through which ideas often bloom from distinctly different sources: “They come from my inside out—not
the outside in. I can’t say, ‘OK, I’m pointing to this flower, and this influences me,’ although whatever I do visually takes in influences in some way.”21 Fireflies and bioluminescent waters have long fascinated Benglis, as has phosphorescence in both its natural and synthetic forms. She visited funhouses as a child in New Orleans and remembers seeing phosphorescent, playful displays there. Her early memories of Greece also include visits to phosphorescent sea caves.22 The stalactites within these caves reminded her of the fronds of date palms and the dendritic, hanging moss on the limbs of live oak trees in Louisiana. She brought these interests together in her largest sculpture completed to date, Hills and Clouds (2014–15), created from stainless steel and phosphorescent polyurethane. The expansive lower half of the sculpture evolved from a model that included plaster and hemp, lending it a variegated, complicated surface. The pillowy, phosphorescent component of the work seems to float lightly over the stainless steel, forming the “clouds.” “I wanted to imply something that appears to rise instead of being connected entirely to the earth,” says the artist. Benglis also was drawn to clouds’ constant motion and change. “I always . . . question how I can push [materials] further . . . How far can I go with the illusion of the material? . . . It’s a matter of creating an image that moves.”23 While water does not pass over the surface of Hills and Clouds, the illusion created by the phosphorescence and the burnished surface of the steel has a similar effect, linking the work closely with the fountains in the artist’s mind.24 Clouds themselves are also formed of wet air, carrying water above the earth. The clouds atop Hills and Clouds appear to float after dark, as the stainless-steel support below them becomes invisible. In fact, the glowing clouds are reflected in the stainless steel, thus doubling and reflecting them in ghostly fashion. This illusion of buoyancy relates to Benglis’s fascination with weightlessness, something she began to ponder more specifically after learning to scuba dive while teaching at California Institute of the Arts in Southern California in the 1970s: When I went down under the water for the first time, I realized that my art really is about that floating, that feeling of being inside the womb, that feeling of being isolated and suspended
Pi Tangerine 2009 cast pigmented polyurethane 29 x 29 x 13 1/2 in 73.7 x 73.7 x 34.3 cm 25
and . . . ‘what’s upside down or right side up?’ It doesn’t matter, you know. But it’s also about gravity. So that suspension, that state that we all feel when we’re in the water—and I felt that— and we were talking a lot about anechoic chambers at the time, you know, and using that to kind of meditate. So I think being a diver is about that, and when you get the rapture of the deep, it really has to do with what that does to your brain that’s being suspended and this being, you know, the desire to be totally in this kind of state, this rapture. And it really has to do with something that we have all experienced before we were born but we have no memory of. These things interest me.25 The connection between art and life always has been profound and critical for Benglis, and she has drawn on wide-ranging and open-ended influences. Water has deep, personal, and lifelong significance—it defined the physical landscape of her youth and the Greece of her forebears. Its mythical, life-giving, and ethereal qualities have spurred her artistic development. While the fountains are among her largest works, they maintain a sense of humanity, both in the modeling of their surfaces and in their bodily forms. Her fountains at Storm King occupy much of the Art Center’s Museum Hill, relatively close to one another. Communing in their rhythmic, continuous pitter-patter, they create a meditative, serene space for our visitors.
Lynda Benglis in conversation with Susan Weaver, Conversations, Art Basel, December 4, 2014.
Benglis, oral history interview, November 20, 2009, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Benglis in conversation with Griselda Pollock, February 6, 2015, accessed online: https://www.youtube.
Susan Richmond, Lynda Benglis: Beyond Process (London: I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2012), 10.
Erica-Lynn Huberty, “Intensity of Form and Surface: An Interview with Lynda Benglis,” Sculpture 19 no. 6
(July–August 2000); accessed online. 7
“International Water Sculpture Competition,” brochure, accessed in Lynda Benglis archives. With
thanks to Lynda Benglis for generously opening her files to me; Nicole Root, archivist, Benglis Studio, for knowledgably guiding me through them; and Sarita Dubin, manager, Benglis Studio, for sharing so many of her insights into Benglis’s work with me. 8
Benglis in conversation with the author, December 19, 2014. Archival documents at the Benglis Studio
show that an early title for the work, in October 1983, was Bronze Wave. 9
This contract was accessed by the author at the Benglis Studio.
Benglis, Annual Plonsker Family Lecture in Contemporary Art at the Williams College Museum of Art,
October 25, 2014, accessed online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqJ6YqWLGfw.
Benglis in conversation with Pollock.
Benglis in conversation with the author, December 19, 2014.
Benglis, in conversation with the author, April 23, 2015.
Benglis, in conversation with the author, December 19, 2014.
“William Corwin in Conversation with Lynda Benglis and Susan Richmond, Author of Beyond Process,”
artcore journal 2: 1 (July 2013); online journal. 17
Benglis, in conversation with the author, May 28, 2015.
Benglis quoted in Ann Landi, “Site Specifics,” ARTNews 96, no. 4 (April 1997), 118.
Benglis, in conversation with the author, December 19, 2014.
Benglis, oral history interview.
Huberty, accessed online.
Benglis, in conversation with Pollock.
Benglis, in conversation with the author, December 19, 2014.
Benglis, in conversation with the author, May 12, 2015.
Benglis, oral history interview.
Lynda Benglis in Conversation with Nora Lawrence Excerpted from a conversation recorded at the artist’s studio in Santa Fe on December 19, 2014. John P. Stern, President, Storm King Art Center; and David R. Collens, Director and Chief Curator, Storm King Art Center, were also present. Nora Lawrence: Storm King Art Center is putting on an exhibition called Lynda Benglis: Water Sources, and I wanted to start out by asking you about your interest in water. Lynda Benglis: I’m from Louisiana. Louisiana’s mostly water, and we are water. My feelings about water really became clearer when I learned to scuba dive. I realized that we all began in water for nine months, and I felt like I was going back to the womb. It excited me because I knew my art really had something to do with being upside down or right side up, or not. In other words, I’m always in a buoyant state with the art somehow. I began to be really interested in the idea of movement. From the beginning, the idea of gesture, or the idea of different materials and freezing form and dealing with water itself, has been exciting to me. I had wanted to do fountains for a long time before I actually started doing them. Nora: Can you talk a little bit about how you first made a fountain? Lynda: The first one was a grand gesture—a World’s Fair fountain. It was for a fountain contest, and there were more than five hundred applicants, and I think about three of us got to do the commissions. My being from Louisiana, where the World’s Fair was, the organizers found a backer for me.
Crescendo at Modern Art Foundry, New York, 2015. Photo: Sebastian Kim 30
I had envisioned that fountain two years before I made it, so I was more than ready to do it when I did it, and it was exactly what I wanted to do. I started with a beach ball. Eventually it wasn’t just a beach ball—it was a weather balloon. But in the beginning the idea was that I would pour over a beach ball. The large one was poured over a big weather balloon I had bought. Luckily it was still flexible! I actually made the work at Modern Art Foundry in Queens. Nora: This is a work that you’re now planning on revisiting and changing in certain ways. Lynda: That’s true. I just repaired The Wave of the World. They required that I call it “Wave of the World.” I might have just called it “The Wave.” My idea now, as I’m experimenting with the North South East West fountains, my second appropriation with this idea, is to use Saran Wrap and pour on top of the bronze itself. The result is this kind of crustacean—like a shellfish, or a snail on top of another thing, making its home out of this thing. We see this in the sea quite a bit. When I was in Louisiana and the Gulf—we had a camp down at the Gulf of Mexico—I would see these forms on top of shells and just watch how things grew, being semi-dependent. I felt that I could also let things grow within this fountain and arrive at a different kind of life form for it. Nora: You’ve made a comparison between water and metal and spoken about the different properties of metal that you like. You’ve
mentioned that working with liquid metal is very interesting to you, and I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that. Lynda: I never directly poured metal, because metal itself doesn’t have any form. But the idea of metal being a resource to contain and suggest movement, and having the capacity to imply that it’s illusionistically appearing to be water, was natural, like volcano lava that suggests movement. People used to say when I did the polyurethane pieces that were free form and drawings of flow, they used to say, “Oh, they look like volcano lava.” I had never seen lava. But then I went to Hawaii and saw what they were talking about—what has been documented in movies. I saw that the movement was very much like that of the urethane, even though it was hot molten metal and earth-minerals. My connection, I think, to water and to the metal—and the relationship between them—is an illusionary one, very much so. Nora: We’re here in Santa Fe and we just traveled around and saw so many beautiful sites and I know a lot of them have been very inspiring to you. I would love it if you could talk a little bit about your connections to nature and also about the series that we’re going to be showing inside the Museum Building at Storm King, the one you made upon first coming to Santa Fe. Lynda: I was attracted to this particular landscape in the Southwest because we read into images in the clouds and we read into images in the rock formations that occur through wind and water. I was attracted to that idea because we can see sculptures in the rocks here. I made all the Rockmare series here. They are kind of these small landscapes. I imagined myself as being in the area of the Four Corners.
Later I saw all these things that one sees in Westernsâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;these sculptures on the desert sky and land, which are very much individual sculptures as in an exhibition. And so I decided that I was going to make them, even before I saw them. I saw them on film and in Westerns, and I see them out here. I was very inspired by these rocks that were formed through wind and water. I made a series called the Rockmare. From there, I began to make other fountains. Double Fountain, Mother and Child, For Anand (2007), I did because I wanted to make fountains that were more baroque and had the kind of contrapposto that you see in twisting and moving figures. I thought of them as embodying some sort of mother/child relationship. The smaller one was almost like a jumping porpoise or something leaping out of the water, and the larger one was twisting around, looking at the child. The sculptures also have a very dainty sparkle; there are many passages for the water in both of them. Even in the small one, there were more than twenty, and in the larger one, I know that there are more than thirty, maybe even more than that. I tried to get as many spouts going as possible, very tiny little spouts that sparkle as the water moves in and out. Nora: It seems like Pink Lady (For Asha) and the Pink Ladies relate to what you were just speaking about in terms of contrapposto and the mother and child figures. This also relates to things you have said about caryatids and this classical tradition within your work. What is the significance of those themes for you? Lynda: With the Pink Ladies, the color actually came from India. They have a kite-flying festival there in January. I saw this pink kite there,
and I was talking to Asha Sarabhai and told her that I thought pink would be great in a fountain, because there is so much green around, and I felt that pink would be the perfect complement. I thought the translucency of a pink “for Asha” fountain would be wonderful. The other two—Pink Ladies—have bronze added to the element. I think that the bronze works with the pink as well. There was also a bit of color added to the bronze itself, added to the pink; there was some green placed inside and also perhaps even a kind of blue-green, a mossy green. That’s the green that comes into the pink there. Nora: Throughout your career you’ve made so many works on your own, works in paper, works in ceramic, works in so many different types of material. Then, with these bronzes and also with the polyurethane works, you’re working with and using foundries. Do you find that the process of working with foundries feels much different? Lynda: I don’t make a distinction between works in different materials, even in the scale. It’s an individual kind of excitement I have for whatever I’m working on. It is always surprising. For instance, Hills and Clouds came out of my body in one day. I can’t believe it. It’s going to take two years to
Saddle Lane (Bull Path Series) 2013–14 handmade paper, wire, gold leaf, coal tempera, pigmented acrylic medium and watercolor 28 1/2 x 11 x 9 in
complete it, to really see it. That’s what’s very strange. But a paper piece the size of my body might take a week or two to make. Of course in fabrication something can be quite complex, and then scale seems to mean nothing in terms of the realization. I just realize that it’s the image that comes forth. That’s all. I work according to a feeling that I have that’s based in knowing a lot about the materials. I always work with materials and question how I can push them further. How far can I go, also, with the illusion of the material? How far can I go with it expressing something that is inside me? How can I make it work visually? It’s a matter of drawing, always. It’s a matter of creating an image that moves. I was not thinking particularly about clouds, but about something that floats above something that is also floating that may be a landscape. It could also be something other than hills. It could be a form of growth, a mossy cave or something, but what I wanted it to do is imply something that rises instead of being connected entirely to the earth. I like to suggest open ended statements in the work, so you can’t quite locate their weight or their form or how they got there. I constantly experiment with things that I don’t know about, but that I learn, so that I can learn and continue working. Nora: Can you tell me a little bit about Bounty, one of the works that we’re going to have at Storm King? Lynda: Bounty I always envisioned as a kind of totemic work, an endless column with water. It’s a really monumental work, and I look forward to seeing it with the water. It’s really nicely polished, softly.
Nora: You’ve talked about that work as being related to the idea of bounty, or related to a cornucopia. Lynda: It’s not a passive cornucopia, where it lies horizontal on the table. I thought about how water itself can be bountiful and flowing upward. I think of it as a living growth or an explosion of water that is frozen in bronze, but also emits this water. I think of it as floral, too, especially when those same forms become pink, or even in the gray. They’re very floral, and they work nicely with landscapes. Even the darker ones look like clouds, gray clouds, stormy clouds, and so forth. Nora: We’re showing three small fountains in our show: Summer Dreams, Storm Pattern, and Thunderbird. Could you speak about that series a little bit? Lynda: Thinking about atomic explosions, I had looked at them and was excited that they seem like clouds, they were man-made clouds. I thought that I would think about atomic explosions and this phenomena and also think about them being very organic and maybe they could be something else, with moss on them or water dripping slowly. It was kind of a passive explosion, or a photograph of an atomic explosion, rather than a real explosion. They’re benign atomic explosions. [laughs] Nora: With benign titles, as the explosions have as well. Lynda: The titles were taken from real explosions, as you know. Nora: At Storm King, we have a major work, as you know, by Isamu Noguchi, who I know you have worked with, conversed with, and I
Isamu Noguchi Momo Taro 1977–78 granite 9 feet x 34 feet 7 in x 21 feet 7 in overall Installation view at Storm King Art Center
was wondering if you would mind talking a little bit about that. Lynda: Isamu actually gave a talk at Newcomb College at Tulane, where I went to school. I was very taken with him then, because he was very serious . . . he’d even designed some bridges, which I thought was pretty incredible. Later I saw him at the fiftieth anniversary of the Whitney Museum of American Art, and it was a break in the band, in the music, and it was a dance party at the Whitney itself, on the black stone floor. Suddenly, I saw this man, who happened to be Isamu, pacing the whole floor. I said, “What are you doing?” He says, “I have the next show. I’m going to show maquettes from my sculpture.” I said, “My name is Lynda Benglis,” and he said, “The Lynda Benglis?” I thought he
might have said “the” for some other reason. But he said it was because he had heard that I had been in India, and had visited my friends the Sarabhais there. He said, “That’s what I want to talk to you about.” He said, “Would you like to go out with me and have some sushi? I’ll take you to the best sushi restaurant in New York.” I said, “Yes, I love sushi.” He picked me up. He came in and saw my works on the wall, which were shapes that he immediately liked, and kind of recognized. They were not unrelated to what I’m doing now, with the curved paper pieces, but probably less contorted, less twisted, more fishtailed mermaid, fishtails on both ends, and of that nature. He liked the work. We went for sushi, and I would get together with him again. When Anand Sarabhai came to town with his mother, I invited them both out together, and then with Paula Cooper. He had a great sense of humor. He died suddenly, and I saw him at the end of October before he died, in New York at the hospital. He had emphysema, but it wasn’t just that. He had gotten all this marble dust in his lungs, and then it developed into a kind of pneumonia, a bad cold and a kind of pneumonia. Then when I was returning with Anand to India, we went to visit the island in Japan where Noguchi did his work. I saw this Buddhist sculpture . . . a woman was drowning in the sea. A boy went to save her, and they both drowned. It was a stacked sculpture, and I think that was what started me off in the landscape pieces, because they had something to do with the sea, and it did have to do with Noguchi. His forms were sometimes stacked, but mostly monolithic. The Buddhist things were stacked, and I think that I took that idea. You’re making me remember what I began to do with these early bronzes when I came to Santa Fe.
Nora: Can you talk a little bit about the influence of travel on your work? Lynda: A dream that I love to remember, one of them, is that I’m going through a long tunnel, kind of bound as a bird or something. I went through a long tunnel and from side to side, I could choose the doors that I wanted to go to or in. I still feel that that’s what I’m doing. I’m just creating these different worlds, or they are creating me. Nora: I wanted to ask you about a few works that we haven’t spoken Odds and Ands #1 1988 steel, nickel and chrome 29 1/2 x 47 x 12 1/2 in about exhibiting but that I’m really curious about. The Odds and Ands works that you made. They’re welded together. They have an almost David Smith kind of feel to them. Lynda: They’re drawings in space, linear drawings, yes. Nora: They feel different in certain ways from other works of yours. Lynda: There’s junk metal I saw in Louisiana when I visited my parents. I developed this relationship with this company, a mom and pop shop. They would do metallizing. That’s what I looked up in the Yellow Pages. I developed this relationship with them, and I did metallizing of these screen forms. I’ve always worked with the idea of surface and drawing with different materials so you could spray this wire metal with a saddling torch, different metals, copper, bronze, whatever, just aluminum, and on the screening.
They were also tearing down the old theater in the main part of Lake Charles; it had become an arcade. I remember my dad and I used to go there. They would show the old, old movies, too, without sound. They had a lot of old rebar that was hand wrought, so you could actually see how they were pulled. I began drawing with those, because I had access to the welding company’s machine shop, basically. I did a lot of drawing with those and decided also to use the neon, which would come against the line of the drawing of these wrought iron pieces. Whatever I could find and wherever I found myself, I would always find things to do. Nora: It’s amazing. That’s great. Lynda: It was fun, but I also learned. The Odds and Ands occurred in India as well. There was a recycled metal place. Nora: And they are called Odds and Ands because you were working with odds and ends. Lynda: Mm hmm. Nora: About how many of those did you make? Do you know? Lynda: I don’t know. Maybe around twenty. Nora: We haven’t talked at all about the Migrating Pedmarks and
Ghost Dance/Pedmarks 1998 bronze with gold leaf 84 x 36 x 25 in Collection The Museum of Modern Art, New York
the Cloak-Wave Pedmarks. I was wondering if you could speak about them. I know you’ve said before that those works could almost have been fountains. Lynda: They were skins. Just as I’m doing now, skins. I’d been working with clay, the Rockmares, taking this square piece of clay, this rectangular solid clay, cutting that with a wire but making a form first. I made three pieces like this, of great size. The Museum of Modern Art in New York has one of them, given to them by Agnes Gund. You are showing two of them. I did the first one, which was a torso, on the wall. But it was made almost as a puzzle, like you are putting a puzzle together, drawing with it. I made a form, a torso shape, a large form, about six or seven feet in height and width. It was a large form. I made it with plaster and wire and one form. I was using burlap; I use hemp for Hills and Clouds, for filler. I was using burlap strips, probably, and then I made this form of plaster with wire and burlap. Probably cutting the burlap, now that I think about it, because I didn’t just lay it on. I made the form so I could mold it and shape it. Then I took the cutting of the clay and slapped these pieces on with my hands and fingers—slapped them, because it was a solid surface of plastered burlap over wire, supported by one by twos. So that was really my first skin form that I made in order to make a skin again. It was pieced together with rectangles and with squares and triangles. Then the clay had imprints of my fingers, had holes in it. I made that form, and the other two, Migrating Pedmarks and Cloak-Wave Pedmarks. Cloak-Wave came next. They were forms that I made in order to be surfaces. I envisioned them as drawings. I intuit space. I imagine my body moving through space, but I also imagine how you draw in space. I
think that comes naturally to me. I imagine how things come together and how they best come together. And I intuit structure. Usually, my form of space is not angular, it’s all curves. Nora: John and David, do either of you have any questions? John P. Stern: I would love to ask about how you see the opportunity to show at Storm King. Alexander Calder The Arch 1975 painted steel 50 feet x 41 feet 6 in x 34 feet 10 ins Installation view at Storm King Art Center
Lynda: That’s such a space. [laughs] When I think about that space, going around the way we did, that was so exciting. And I see myself as very small there in that space. Nora: We don’t. [laughs] Lynda: It’s so exciting. When I saw that incredible Calder, goddamn it. [laughter] Nora: The Arch, at the entrance? Lynda: Oh, that was so incredible. Nora: Will our show be the first time that you’re showing a phosphorescent piece outdoors? Lynda: Yeah.
Mark di Suvero Mon Père, Mon Père, 1973–75 steel 35 feet x 40 feet x 40 feet 4 in Mother Peace, 1969–70 painted steel 41 feet 8 in x 49 feet 5 in x 44 feet 3 in Installation view at Storm King Art Center
Nora: That’s going to be exciting. Lynda: Yeah, I look forward to that. I love seeing all the di Suveros, because I think when I saw them before, you did not have all those grasses. Everything is so sensitively placed. I was so impressed by that. It wasn’t just stuck there. It seems like it grew there. That’s what I liked about it. It was so impressive. Just going around, always discovering something else. You could feel the energy. David R. Collens: I was just thinking about the sculpture we own, Nu? Nora: Oh, yes, could you speak about Nu, the alphabet knot that we have?
Lynda: At that time I was learning how to make a transition into the metal from, say, the sparkle pieces or just the plaster and the cloth. Nu was part of the Greek alphabet series. I must have completed almost all the alphabet. It had sparkles and Sculp-metal. That was one of the more complex ones, and that also was the beginning of my transition to California. I began it in my studio in New York, on Baxter Street, which was down from the police station across from where the Italian kids were burning the cars that had been dumped by the mafia. Nu has a history as one of the few sparkle pieces that survived; it was a transition into metal. It was a Sculp-metal piece with sparkles on it, and I wanted to see what metallizing could be done with Jack Brogan and his company Design Concepts in Los Angeles. This was a place that I’d end up working with for thirty years. I’m glad you could have it, because . . . Nora: We’re glad we have it. Lynda: . . . it could have gone elsewhere. It was always a funny one. It was always a kind of funny, awkward one, like kind of, a baby elephant or something. John: I have one other question. I read about an account of your visiting Sol LeWitt’s studio. I wonder if you had any memories of that. Lynda: He was a very esoteric kind of person. But he was like a little old lady knitting these grids. He would sit there. He gave me a few of his drawings, and I would give him some works because he liked to trade. But he’d give me the mistakes, and they would have an X on them. I had them pinned to my apartment wall on the Lower East Side.
I really liked Sol, he was close to Pat Steir, very, and Eva [Hesse]. I visited Eva . . . I went to see her work. She had just moved into fiberglass, so she had these kind of fiberglass, what looked like wastebaskets, kind of slightly contorted. What really attracted me to talk to her was when she did some cupcakes. She got a pan of cupcakes, and it was that kind of rubber thing. The pearlescence in them, it just happened. I asked her about it. I remember she said, “Oh, I just got some molding material, I got it on Canal Street.” I went to Canal Street and I bought the rubber latex there, or maybe I looked, I don’t remember, but I don’t think I bought it from Canal Street. You go there to look at things. Then I went to the Yellow Pages and found my own rubber and the foam and so forth through Adhesive Products. I met M. P. Medwick. I went to his house. He had been a rubber consultant during World War II. He was very open, he was very interested in whatever I did. But originally, I worked with the latex rubber, all from him. You take a step little by little. You don’t know what you’re doing until you do it.
Nu 1974 aluminum screen, cotton bunting, plaster, gesso, Sculp-metal, and sparkles 43 1/2 x 29 x 15 in 110.5 x 73.7 x 38.1 cm Collection Storm King Art Center
This page: Seascape 1991 bronze on rock 21 x 10 x 7 in 53.3 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm Opposite page: Totem 47
I 1991 bronze on rock 28 1/2 x 7 x 7 in 72.4 x 17.8 x 17.8 cm
This page: Landscape
I 1991 bronze on rock 16 x 6 x 5 1/2 in 40.6 x 15.2 x 14 cm
Opposite page: Man/Landscape 1991 bronze on rock 18 1/4 x 4 3/4 x 6 in 46.4 x 12.1 x 15.2 cm 49
This page: Snakemare
I 1991 bronze with white patina on rock 19 1/2 x 25 x 10 1/2 in 49.5 x 63.5 x 26.7 cm
Opposite page: Double Trouble 1991 bronze and stone 42 1/2 x 34 x 31 in 108 x 86.4 x 78.7 cm 51
Snakemare III 1991 bronze on slate 26 1/4 x 21 x 19 1/4 in 66.7 x 53.3 x 48.9 cm 54
This page: Snake Wall 1993 ceramic 13 1/2 x 13 1/2 x 36 in 34.3 x 34.3 x 91.4 cm Opposite page: Forced 55
Bunch 1983 glazed ceramic 38 x 26 1/8 x 23 7/8 in 96.5 x 66.5 x 60.6 cm
This page: Anagama
II 1995 ceramic 15.5 x 15 x 19 in 39.4 x 38.1 x 48.3
Opposite page: Tangipahoa 57
B 2013 glazed ceramic 21 x 12 x 13 in 53.3 x 30.5 x 33 cm
The Manu 2008 stainless steel 30 1/2 x 61 5/8 x 8 1/4 in 77.5 x 156.5 x 21 cm
Swinburne Figure I 2009 tinted polyurethane 65 x 30 x 21 in 165.1 x 76.2 x 53.3 cm 63
Black Ice 2009 cast pigmented polyurethane, lead, stainless steel; three elements element 1: 103 x 26 x 26 in element 2: 113 x 21-1/2 x 23 in element 3: 95 x 30 x 27 in 65
Pink Ladies 2014 bronze and cast pigmented polyurethane; two elements element 1: 124 1/2 x 32 1/2 x 32 1/2 in 316.2 x 82.6 x 82.6 cm element 2: 130 x 36 x 25 in 330.2 x 91.4 x 63.5 cm Pink Lady (For Asha) 2013 cast pigmented polyurethane 95 x 30 x 27 in 241.3 x 76.2 x 68.6 cm 67
This page: Cloak-Wave Opposite page: Migrating
Pedmarks 1998 bronze, black patina 85 1/2 x 86 x 56 in 217.2 x 218.4 x 142.2 cm
Pedmarks 1998 bronze, black and white patina 87 x 135 x 96 in 221 x 342.9 x 243.8 cm
North South East West 1988/2009/2014â&#x20AC;&#x201C;15 bronze and steel 66 x 184 x 184 in 167.6 x 467.4 x 467.4 cm 79
Storm Pattern 2003 bronze 29 x 27 x 25
in 73.7 x 68.6 x 63.5 cm
Thunderbird 2003 bronze 29 x 27 x 26 in 73.7 x 68.6 x 66 cm Summer Dreams 2003 bronze 30 x 27 x 25 in 76.2 x 68.6 x 63.5 cm
Bounty 2014 bronze 307 ½ x 24 x 24 in 781.1 x 61 x 61 cm Amber Waves 2014 bronze 307 ½ x 24 x 24 in 781.1 x 61 x 61 cm Fruited Plane 2014 bronze 307 ½ x 24 x 24 in 781.1 x 61 x 61 cm 89
Left: Crescendo 1983–1984/2014–2015 bronze 108 x 108 x 204 274.3 x 274.3 x 518.2 Right: Double
Fountain, Mother and Child, For Anand 2007 bronze 72 x 118 x 26 in 182.9 x 299.7 x 66 cm
Hills and Clouds 2013â&#x20AC;&#x201C;15 cast polyurethane with phosphorescence and stainless steel 132 x 228 x 228 in 335.3 x 579.1 x 579.1 cm
STORM KING ART CENTER BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Peter Bienstock Alice Cary Brown* David R. Collens, Director & Chief Curator Roberta Denning The Duke of Devonshire KCVO, CBE, DL David Diamond, Treasurer Christopher J. Elliman James C. Kautz* Nancy Brown Negley** Nick Ohnell, Vice Chair James H. Ottaway, Jr., Chair Cynthia Hazen Polsky* Nicholas A. Polsky Thomas A. Russo Anne P. Sidamon-Eristoff Richard J. Smith Beatrice Stern H. Peter Stern*, Co-Founder & Honorary Chair John P. Stern, President Lisa Stern Hume R. Steyer Stephen S. Trevor Adam D. Weinberg * Honorary ** Emeritus
Mary Alva Amy Brown Mary Ann Carron Mary Ann Carter Theresa Choi Rachel Coker David R. Collens Anthony Davidowitz Robert Finch Clare Flemming Brielle Gerrity Ellen Grenley Lisa Harmon Helen Hydos Dwayne Jarvis Joe Klarl Nora R. Lawrence Victoria Lichtendorf Joel Longinott Rhema Mangus Lillie McMillan Armando Ocampo Michael Odynksy Jim Ryan Julianna Satsuk Adrianne Savino Jaclyn Schultz Nina Scibelli Howard Seaman Mike Seaman John P. Stern Amy Zaltzman Colleen Zlock
Lynda Benglis Water Sources Storm King Art Center Published on the occasion of the 2015 exhibition May 16–November 8, 2015 Lynda Benglis: Water Sources is made possible by generous lead support from Roberta and Steven Denning, Agnes Gund, the Hazen Polsky Foundation, Ohnell Charitable Lead Trust, and Samuel Freeman Charitable Trust. Additional support is provided by Janet Inskeep Benton, The Cowles Charitable Trust, The Helis Foundation, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, Inc., The Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Rosen, Hume R. Steyer and Nanahya C. Santana, Thomas Dane Gallery, London, and the Vance Wall Foundation. Support for the accompanying publication is provided by Cheim & Read, New York. Design John Cheim Editor Ellen Robinson Photography Jerry L. Thompson Printed by Trifolio ISBN 978-0-9814531-4-9 Library of Congress Control Number 2015946353 Frontispiece: Portrait of Benglis at Modern Art Foundry, 2015, photo: Sebastian Kim. Endleaves: details of Hills and Clouds. Embryo II, 1967, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Agnes Gund. Contraband, 1969, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, purchased with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee and partial gift of John Cheim and Howard Read. For Carl Andre, 1970, collection of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, museum purchase, The Benjamin J. Tillar Memorial Trust. Nu, 1974, Storm King Art Center, gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation. Isamu Noguchi, Momo Taro, 1977–78, Collection of Storm King Art Center, gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation. ©2015 The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Ghost Dance/Pedmarks, 1998, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, gift of Agnes Gund. Alexander Calder, The Arch, 1975, Collection of Storm King Art Center, purchase fund and gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation, ©2015 Calder Foundation, New York/Artists Rights Society (ARS). Mark di Suvero, Mon Père, Mon Père, 1973–75, Collection of Storm King Art Center, gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation. ©Mark di Suvero, courtesy of the artist and Spacetime C.C. Bounty, 2014, Man/Landscape, 1991, Double Trouble, 1991 and Swinburne Figure I, 2009, private collections. North/South/East/West, 1988/2009/2012-2015 and Pink Lady (for Asha), 2013 courtesy the artist; Locks Gallery, Philadelphia and Cheim & Read, New York. All other works, courtesy the artist and Cheim & Read, New York. Photos pages 116, 117, 118, 121, 122: Nicole Root. Photos pages 100 and 104 John Cheim. © Lynda Benglis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. No part of this publication may be reproduced without permission.
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