Devoted to Lynda Benglis’s highly original and prolific output in diverse media, this is the artist’s first solo show in a country that has played a major role in her life and vision: Greece. Spanning half a century – from 1969 to the present, the concise survey of more than 30 pieces will occupy the intimate spaces of the Stathatos Mansion, displaying a wide spectrum of Benglis’s materials and imagery.
Among the former are wax, bronze, aluminium, marble, latex, ceramics and glass. The latter include “fallen paintings” (the iconic Baby Contraband), “knots”, “lagniappes”, “torsos”, “pleats”, “fountains” amongst others. Conversations are formed between textures (liquid to waxy and metallic), colours (Storm Pattern’s monochrome brazen sheen versus the multi-hued papers made over wire) and orientation (horizontal flow opposing the totemic vertical beeswax icons). Given the Mediterranean setting, radiance and a lapidary sensuousness will pervade the whole, which also foregrounds Benglis’s many Grecian allusions, especially to its ancient/archaic statuary – epitomized by Fanfarinade’s echo of the Winged Victory of Samothrace (c.220-190 BC). Indeed, Greece has been a recurrent muse for Benglis’s expansive gestural imagination.
In the Realm of the Senses celebrates an artist who began as a pioneer of Post-Modernism in the late 1960s and still creates with a joyous fecundity in the twenty-first century. Describing Benglis’s first wax paintings as early as 1968, the New York gallerist and critic Klaus Kertess noted that “skin, pull, sensuousness” ranked among her primary concerns. Such intense corporeal sensations continue to the present – as Benglis’s sculpture constantly shifts between gravitas and movement, nature and flesh, with exquisite delicacy and inventiveness.