Ground breaking sculptor/artist Lynda Benglis is always doing something interesting. Her newest work is an engaging series of abstract ceramics made in New Mexico, where she lives part time. In this exhibit at Cheim and Read, Benglis’s seemingly random shaped, clay-based sculptures retain the earthy, elemental, primal nature of clay, and highlight the material’s unique susceptibility to the artist’s touch. The variety of bold textures on each sculpture is extremely visually pleasing, and each one is unique and different.
Benglis does not use a potter’s wheel, but hand-builds her works with tubes (you can see this technique especially in several pieces pictured in this review, which resemble lengths of tire) and slabs of clay, pinching, stacking, squeezing, pulling and smoothing them into complex sculptural compositions.
I also couldn’t help but think of the 2012 John Chamberlain exhibit, Choices, at the Guggenheim, in which the artist worked with hunks of compressed metal from junked cars.
Sometimes wave-like and lyrical, sometimes squat and spherical, Benglis’s ceramics explore various manifestations, excavations and manipulations of form.
Lynda Benglis collapses the boundaries between interior and exterior space, using both hollowed out and compacted elements which collide and fuse together reinforcing the sexual undercurrents of her muscular, polymorphic shapes. I really loved this exhibit and recommend you add a stop at Cheim and Read to your next Art Crawl.
New Ceramic Works by Lynda Benglis will be on Exhibit Through February 15th, 2014 at Cheim & Read, located at 547 West 25th Street, NYC, in the Chelsea Gallery District.