Lynda Benglis (b. 1941, Lake Charles, Louisiana) is recognised for an oeuvre that has consistently challenged art-historical and technical conventions while treading new and experimental ground. Driven by an inventive and interrogative approach to both the physical and aesthetic properties of her chosen materials, she works in a broad range of media including beeswax, latex, polyurethane, glitter, luminous paint, plaster, metal, glass, porcelain and paper. With sculpture as a primary focus, Benglis creates pure, abstract works that are typically inspired by natural and organic forms. She often combines an element of visual seductiveness—reflective or sparkling surfaces, transparency, vivid hues—with atypical shapes, challenging the relationship between painting and sculpture and their respective modes of presentation. As a young artist in the mid-1960s, Benglis explored such issues by throwing brightly-coloured liquid latex onto the floor to create large ‘poured’ works that expanded the prevailing discourse around minimalism and the legacy of abstract expressionism. Working in photography and video primarily in the 1970s, Benglis created radical images that sought to undermine gender stereotypes and discrimination against women artists within male-dominated artistic circles. More recently, she has harnessed technology to arrest waves of polyurethane foam in mid-air, thereby transforming them into solid, three-dimensional objects and continuing her exploration of the ‘frozen gesture’.
Lynda Benglis lives and works in New York, Santa Fe and Greece. Her work is included in the public collections of the Guggenheim Museum; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Hokkaido Museum of Art, Japan and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia among many others.