GREEK ARTISTS IN NEW YORK
Stainless steel mesh and aluminum, 84 x 78 x 18 inches
An eminent sculptor
and videomaker for more than three decades, Lynda Benglis produced a pioneering
body of feminist video in the 1970s. Immediate and visceral, Benglis's video
work confronts issues raised by feminist theory, including the representation
of women, the role of the spectator, and female sexuality. Over a 35-year-long
career she has almost single-handedly articulated what could be called the erotics
of Anti-Form. Her work is about movement, but movement of a particularly Dionysian
sort -- her materials flow and drip, they sparkle and shine, they twist and
turn into amorous postures. In contrast to the masculine discipline of Minimalism,
Benglis brings a distinctly female focus to the Postminimalist "process
and materials" sensibility that succeeded it, as Robert G. Edelman noted.
Born in 1941 in Lake
Charles, Louisiana, her ancestors came from Kastellorizo, an island off the
Anatolian coast, where Benglis owns a home. In her work, formal and emotional
relationships to ancient Greek or Byzantine art are found in the Caryatids on
the Acropolis and the gold and gilded elements of the Greek Orthodox religion.
She studied art at Newcomb College in New Orleans, and in the early 1960s moved to the East Coast, where she was profoundly affected by the Abstract Expressionists in New York.