Lynda Benglis

Lynda Benglis

Infobox Artist
bgcolour =
name = Lynda Benglis

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birthname =
birthdate = birth date and age|1941|10|25
location = Lake Charles, Louisiana
deathdate =
deathplace =
nationality = American
field = Sculptor, painter
training =
movement =
works =
patrons =
awards =

Lynda Benglis (born October 25, 1941 in Lake Charles, Louisiana) is an American sculptor known for her wax paintings and poured latex sculptures. Benglis' work is noted for an unusual blend of organic imagery and confrontation with newer media incorporating influences such as Barnett Newman and Andy Warhol.cite journal|url= |volume=3 |issue=1 |pages=54 |title=Lynda Benglis: Dual Natures |last = Krane |first=Susan |accessdate=2007-06-24 |month=Spring-Summer |year=1992|journal = Woman's Art Journal|isbn=0939802635|publisher=Atlanta : High Museum of Art, 1990.] Her early work used materials such as beeswax before moving on large polyurethane pieces in the 1970s and later to gold-leaf, zinc, and aluminum. The validity of much of her work was questioned until the 1980s due to its use of sensuality and physicality.cite web|url= |title = Benglis, Lynda |first = C. |last = Joy |work = Grove Art Online |publisher = Oxford University Press |year=2007 |accessdate=2007-06-24]

Like other artists such as Yves Klein, Benglis' mimicked Jackson Pollock's flinging and dripping methods of painting.cite book|first=Amelia|last = Jones |authorlink = Amelia Jones |title = Body Art/Performing the Subject |publisher=University of Minnesota Press |year=1998 |isbn=0816627738 |location = Minneapolis |pages=pp. 96–97] However, unlike the male artists who imitated the techniques of Pollock, Benglis' work gains a feminist slant with her works such as "Fallen Painting" (1968). For this work, Benglis smeared Day-Glo paint across the gallery floor invoking "the depravity of the 'fallen' woman" or, from a feminist perspective, a "prone victim of phallic male desire". These brightly colored organic floor pieces were intended to disrupt the male-dominated minimalism movement with their suggestiveness and openness.cite book|title=Contemporary Art: Art Since 1970|isbn=0131181742 |year=2005 |publisher=Prentice Hall |last = Taylor |first=Brandon |pages=pp. 29–30 |location=London] In 1971, Benglis began to collaborate with Robert Morris, creating Benglis' video "Mumble" (1972) and Morris' "Exchange" (1973).

"Artforum" advertisement

Benglis felt underrepresented in the male-run artistic community and so confronted the "male ethos" in a series of magazine advertisements satirizing pin-up girls and Hollywood actresses. Benglis chose the medium of magazine advertisements as it allowed her complete control of an image rather than allowing it to be run through critical commentary.cite journal|title=Challenging Art: Artforum 1962–1974 |last = Cohen |first=David |journal = The Art Bulletin |volume=84 |issue=3 |month=September |year=2002 |pages=536 |url= |accessdate=2007-06-24|doi=10.2307/3177317] This series culminated with a particularly controversial one in the November 1974 issue of "Artforum" featuring Benglis aggressively posed with a giant latex dildo and wearing only a pair of sunglasses promoting an upcoming exhibition of hers at the Paula Cooper Gallery.cite book|title=Twentieth-Century American Art |series=Oxford History of Art |publisher = Oxford University Press |location = Oxford |year= 2002 |last = Doss |first =Erika |isbn =0192842390 |pages=p. 184 |chapter = Feminist Art and Black Art] One of her original ideas for the advertisement had been for her and collaborative partner Robert Morris to work together as a double pin-up, but eventually found that using a double dildo was sufficient as she found it to be "both male and female". Morris, too, put out an advertisement for his work in that month's "Artforum" which featured himself in full "butch" S&M regalia.cite book|title=Reclaiming Female Agency: Feminist Art History after Postmodernism |publisher=University of California Press |editor=Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard |pages=pp. 390–91 |last = Chave |first=Anna C. |chapter = Minimalism and Biography |location=Berkeley, California |year=2005 |isbn=0520242521] Artist Barbara Wagner claims that Benglis shows that even with the appropriation of the phallus as a Freudian sign of power, it does not cover her female identity and still emphasizes a female inferiority.cite book|isbn=9042017589 |editor = Margaret Sönser Breen and Fiona Peters |last=Wagner |first=Barbara |year=2005 |title=Genealogies of Identity: Interdisciplinary Readings on Sex and Sexuality |location = New York City |publisher=Editions Rodopi BV. |pages=pp. 140–42 |chapter=Underneath the Clothes: Transvestites Without Vests] Rosalind Krauss and other "Artforum" personnel attacked Benglis' work in the following month's issue of "Artforum" describing the advertisement as "exploitative" and "brutalizing". Critic Cindy Nemser of "The Feminist Art Journal" dismissed the advertisement as well, claiming that the picture showed that Benglis had "so little confidence in her art that she had to resort to kinky cheesecake to push herself over the top."cite book|title=Pin-up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture |last = Buszek |first= Maria Elena |publisher = Duke University Press |isbn=0822337460 |year=2006 |pages=pp. 288–92 |chapter = Our Bodies/Ourselves] Morris' advertisement, however, generated little commentary, providing evidence for Benglis' view that male artists were encouraged to promote themselves, whereas women were chastised for doing so.


External links

* [ Lynda Benglis in artnet's "Artist Works Catalogues"]
* [$artistdetail?BENGLISL Lynda Benglis] in the [ Video Data Bank] .

NAME = Lynda Benglis
SHORT DESCRIPTION = Modern feminist sculptor
DATE OF BIRTH = October 25, 1941
PLACE OF BIRTH = Lake Charles, Louisiana

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