In four decades of abstract art practice, Lynda Benglis has not merely challenged the status quo. She has tied it in knots, melted it down and poured it across the floor, cast it in glass, clay and bronze. Daring and sometimes outrageous, her intense and provocative practice has produced some of the most iconic pieces of art from the late twentieth century.
Richmond gives serious critical attention to work often dismissed as trivial and rootless, recovering the themes that link the different phases of the artist's quest to capture the ""frozen gesture."" Whether challenging popular tastes and definitions of art with her 1970s abstract knotwork or mocking puritanical aesthetics of gender with her colorful latex pourings and their allusions to corporeal topographies, Benglis never failed to provoke. Her sculptures commemorate and celebrate the processes of creation themselves, combining architectonic abstraction and feminized sensuality in a haunting, visceral theme of the strangeness of the body that runs through all her experiments in glass, video, metals, ceramics, gold leaf, paper and plastics.
Lynda Benglis: Art Beyond Process examines in depth the work and critical neglect of an artist who, perhaps more than any of her contemporaries, changed the face of American art in the 1960s and 1970s, and continues to fetishise, provoke and demand your attention.
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Susan Richmond is Assistant Professor in Art History at Georgia State University.
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