Does the Bay Area know about Lynda Benglis? Long a New York legend, her knotty, blobby, materially adventurous sculptures appear minimally in just a few local museums. SFMOMA seems to have one, as does Stanford’s Anderson Collection. The de Young might have something in its Dorothy & George Saxe Collection of Contemporary Craft, but searches within the OMCA and BAMPFA holdings yield no results.
To discover just how much we’re missing out on, Pace’s Palo Alto outpost kindly presents LYNDA BENGLIS, a mini-retrospective of 20 works from the 1970s to the present and the artist’s first Bay Area solo exhibition in over 15 years. Her full range of approaches and materials are on view: Benglis casts biomorphic abstract sculptures in materials like aluminum and pigmented polyurethane (semitransparent, globular objects that seem to glow from within), builds up surfaces with resin and beeswax, or layers sparkly handmade paper over chicken wire shapes.
In the 1960s, Benglis became known for her colorful latex and foam pours—physically impressive responses to a male-dominated (and wall-mounted) art scene. And she never let up. Now 77, she’s still producing large-scale work, testaments to her stance, as stated in a recent interview: “I am not interested in going backward.”
For more juicy bon mots, Benglis arrives in our neck of the woods for a conversation with writer, curator and activist Kimberly Drew on Oct. 22 at Stanford. —Sarah Hotchkiss