Lynda Benglis
January 16 – February 15, 2014
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Cheim & Read is pleased to announce an exhibition of new ceramic works by Lynda Benglis.

Born in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1941, Lynda Benglis moved to New York City in the late 60s. Her early, ground-breaking work – landscape-like, sculptural installations of poured polyurethane foam and latex – confronted the then-current, male-dominated tropes of Minimalism with brightly-colored, biomorphic forms which embraced themes of ambiguity, femininity, nature and transformation. Their formal ambiguity resisted easy definition: Benglis has long critiqued the art world’s attempt at classifications and hierarchies, as well as societal boundaries of sexuality and gender. Simultaneously seductive and grotesque, Benglis’s work has always been the result of a fluid and organic working process, in which difficult-to-control materials help determine the final outcome. Her ceramic sculptures, though more intimate in scale, are also constructed with deference to the medium’s inherent characteristics. While the clay works accentuate issues she has addressed throughout her career – the blurring of distinctions between pliable and rigid, accidental and intentional, form and shapelessness – they also expand the scope of her artistic methods, engaging notions of craft, functionality, and primeval history.

Benglis had experimented with clay as a student in the early 1960s, but didn’t pursue it as a medium until the early 1990s. Her newest work, made in New Mexico, retain the earthy, elemental, primal nature of clay, and highlight the material’s unique susceptibility to the artist’s touch: clay easily preserves the physical impressions of the hands which mold it. Benglis does not use a potter’s wheel, but hand-builds with tubes and slabs of clay, pinching, stacking, squeezing, pulling and smoothing them into complex sculptural compositions. Sometimes wave-like and lyrical, sometimes squat and spherical, Benglis’s ceramics explore various manifestations, excavations and manipulations of form. She collapses the boundaries between interior and exterior space, using both hollowed out and compacted elements which collide and fuse together reinforcing the sexual undercurrents of her muscular, polymorphic shapes.

Benglis’s ceramics condense the full-bodied gesture of her earlier work into the more focused expressions of her hands. As with her other work, color becomes an equally important component. Benglis’s glazes – pinks and mauves, earthy greens, blacks, ochres, and blues – are oozed, dripped, brushed and poured on, coalescing in some areas and avoiding others, providing texture and variability to the already tactile, unglazed surface of the clay. Benglis’s painterly application of glaze re-contextualizes her forms, as if they were not sculptural, but paintings in three-dimensional, physical space. Again, ambiguity and transformation remain at the core of her practice. Benglis’s creative process is evident in her works’ final realization: one imagines its physical making and thus identifies with the intensity and focus of her artistic methodology.

Lynda Benglis resides in New York and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work is in important public collections, and has been exhibited extensively. Benglis was the subject of a 2010-11 international retrospective which traveled to The Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; The Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Le Consortium, Dijon; New Museum, New York; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.


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The New York Times 7/29/16
The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men
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Lynda Benglis & Adam Fuss: Knots and Entrails
The Art Show / Park Avenue Armory
March 7 – 11, 2012
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The Women in Our Life: A Fifteen Year Anniversary Exhibition
June 30 – September 17, 2011
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Abstractions by Gallery Artists
September 24 – October 3, 2009
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The Female Gaze
Women Look At Women
June 25 – September 19, 2009
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Brooklyn Rail 3/08
Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Louise Fishman
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I Am As You Will Be
The Skeleton in Art
September 20 – November 3, 2007
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New York Times 7/13/07
Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois
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Circa 70: Lynda Benglis and Louise Bourgeois
June 21 – August 31, 2007
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Monique Prieto: New Paintings / Lynda Benglis: THE GRACES
September 10 – October 15, 2005
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Lynda Benglis
A Sculpture Survey 1969 - 2004
February 26 – April 3, 2004
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Bettina Rheims / Lynda Benglis
Bettina Rheims: Chambre Close, 1991Lynda Benglis: Quartered Meteor, 1969
October 15 – November 16, 2002
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Liquid Properties
Artists include: Lynda Benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Richmond Burton, Adam Fuss, Mary Heilmann, David Hines, Gary Hume, Dona Nelson, Jack Pierson, Pat Steir, Juan
July 6 – August 3, 2001
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Opulent
Artists Include: Lynda Benglis, Richmond Burton, St. Clair Cemin, Beatriz Milhazes, Chris Ofili, Jeff Perrone, Philip Taaffe, and Juan Uslé
June 14 – September 1, 2000
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Lynda Benglis / Wols
Lynda Benglis: New WorkWols (1913 - 1951): Photographs of the 1930s
October 19 – November 13, 1999
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Lynda Benglis
Recent Sculpture and a screening of "Female Sensibility" from 1973
September 12 – October 10, 1998
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Small Paintings
HAND PAINTED PICTURES by Ingo Meller, Louise Fishman, Juan Uslé, Richmond Burton, Joan Mitchell, Mary Heilmann, Bill Jensen, Jack Pierson, Dona Nelson, Eva Hes
July 1 – 31, 1998
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Group Show: Benglis, Fuss, Salle, Spitzer
June 5 – July 31, 1997
 
Lynda Benglis at Museo Internacional del Barroco in Puebla, Mexico

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