Lynda Benglis (b. 1941) was raised in Louisiana and moved to New York in 1964 at the height of Minimalism and from then, her work has engaged with both the physicality and process of material-based practices while simultaneously confronting femininity in a male dominated art world.
The artist is especially known for her use of poured sculptural forms made from was, latex, metal, and foam. Benglis’ work is notorious for an unusual blend of organic imagery and confrontation with newer media incorporating influences such as Barnett Newman and Andy Warhol. Her early work used materials such as beeswax before moving on to large polyurethane pieces in the 1970s and later to gold leaf, zinc, and aluminum. Along with other feminist artists, Benglis confronted the “male ethos” in a series of magazine advertisements satirizing pin-up girls, Hollywood actresses, and traditional depictions of nude female models in canonical works of art. 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. In addition to sculpture, Benglis works in video and photography, and has used media interventions (such as a well known ad placed in Artforum in 1974, showing the artist nude with a dildo between her legs) to explore notions of power and gender relations.
On November 4, 2009, Benglis’s first European retrospective opened at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, in Dublin, where it ran through January 24, 2010. It then moved to Le Consortium, in Dijon, France; the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design, in Providence; and the New Museum, in New York.
Between 1969 and 1995 Benglis held over 75 solo exhibitions of her work both in the United States and abroad. Benglis's work is held in collections including The Guggenheim, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the High Museum, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New Orleans Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Modern Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Victoria and others.