"You know, art can be something which can really disempower people, or it can be a vehicle which can empower people."
Lynda Benglis was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1941. A pioneer of a form of abstraction in which each work is the result of materials in action—poured latex and foam, cinched metal, dripped wax— Benglis has created sculptures that eschew minimalist reserve in favor of bold colors, sensual lines, and lyrical references to the human body. But her invention of new forms with unorthodox techniques also displays a reverence for cultural references that trace back to antiquity. Often working in series of knots, fans, lumps, and fountains, Benglis chooses unexpected materials, such as glitter, gold leaf, lead, and polyurethane. In more recent works, she explores diverse cultural heritages (Indian architecture, Greek statuary, Chinese ceramics), translating ancient techniques and symbols for use in contemporary contexts. In her early adoption of video, Benglis introduced feminist, biographical, and burlesque content to structuralist narratives. Lynda Benglis received a BFA from Newcomb College (1964) and an honorary doctorate from the Kansas City Art Institute (2000). She has received many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellow-ship (1975) and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1979, 1990). Her works are in the public collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Dallas Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern; Walker Art Center; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others. Lynda Benglis lives, works, and travels between New York City; Santa Fe; Kastelorizo, Greece; and Ahmedabad, India.