Full Details for Lot 122

Sale 2202 Lot 122

Lynda Benglis
(American, b. 1941)

"Kanzler", 1987/8

copper, steel and wire mesh
h. 72", w. 30", d. 14"

Provenance: Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Estate of Nancy R. Morrison, Houston, Texas.

Exhibited: Lynda Benglis: Recent Sculpture, Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, March 23-May 10, 1990

Literature: Robert Pincus-Witten, "Lynda Benglis - The Frozen Gesture" Artforum, November 1974; Elizabeth Buhe, "Lynda Benglis" Art in America, November 21, 2016; Julian Kreimer, "Shape-Shifter Lynda Benglis" Art in America, December 1, 2009.

Notes: "Lynda Benglis contributes to new options in American art....Few talents today are so alert to the weights and balances of the actual moment as Benglis, and no artist seems more capricious, more casual. She appears to toss aside important realizations at the instant of their discovery. Rarely has the observation that art is about beginnings been more apt than in her case."
Robert Pincus-Witten

Lynda Benglis' career is one that has been consistently (and very intentionally) dominated by the simultaneous exploration and manipulation of the myriad materials available to the artist.

Her earliest works were latex pours, which acted as explorations of the relationship of the artist to the space she was presently occupying; in a sense, they are amorphous, partially unrestrained, extensions of her own corporeal presence. The resultant works have been described as artistic gestures frozen in time.

In her later series of knot sculptures, she employs the hard metals favored by male artists of the 60s and 70s in the creation of their "hard-edged" minimalist works. Benglis transforms these metals into "softer" forms reminiscent of the more consciously feminine bows, pleats and ruffles. The artist herself has commented that these forms were partially inspired by a nostalgia for her times spent crocheting with her grandmother, one of the most significant and influential figures in her life. Through this juxtaposition of material and form, Benglis scrutinizes concepts of social norms, cultural symbolism and significance of knots in ancient cultures (such as the Incan Quipu), and art as an extension of the artist's movements.

The monumental knot sculpture offered here is indicative of Benglis at her most accomplished and masterful: it is a powerful work of illusion, shifting from the seemingly immutable rigidity of the materials employed, into a decorative pleated and knotted wall sculpture which almost impulsively twists into itself.

Estimate $120,000-180,000

**In overall good condition with some rubbing, scattered areas of oxidation, small whitish accretions and soiling in more deeply modeled areas. All consistent with material and usage.

Sold for $657,000
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