Sale: 534 / Contemporary Art Day Sale, Dec. 09. 2022 in Munich Lot 204

 

204
Lynda Benglis
To Be (B), 1992.
Ceramics, partly glazed
Estimate:
€ 20,000 / $ 18,400
Sold:
€ 40,000 / $ 36,800

(incl. surcharge)
To Be (B). 1992.
Ceramics, partly glazed.
1992. 38 x 40 x 33.5 cm (14.9 x 15.7 x 13.1 in).

• Unique object.
• Lynda Benglis’ works probe the boundary between painting and sculpture.
• Eroticism and feminism play a major role in her provocative and often ironic works.
• With the ad placed in artforum in 1974, which shows her in a phallic male pose holding a dildo in front of her, she became an icon of feminist performance art.
• After numerous exhibitions in the USA, the Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, devoted a grand solo exhibition to her in 2009.
• In 2010 she featured in the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.
• Her works are at, among others, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., the Art Institute, Chicago, and the Museum der Moderne, Salzburg
.

PROVENANCE: Private collection Southern Germany.

"I'm interested in the gestalt"
Lynda Benglis, in: Artforum November 15, 2009 (https://www.artforum.com/interviews/lynda-benglis-discusses-her-retrospective-and-her-latest-exhibition-in-new-york-24179

In the 1960s, the artist, who was born in Lake Charles in 1941, became well-known for her latex sculptures (e. g. "Contraband", Whitney Museum of American Art, New York) and "fallen paintings", for which she poured latex mixed with pigments directly on the floor. This way color becomes a picture-sculpture in Lynda Benglis’ art, and this way she redefines the term painting. At the same time, she made a strong opposing statement to the positions of the male-dominated world of Abstract Expressionism. It is not least for this reason that Lynda Benglis is acknowledged as a pioneering feminist artist.
In her sculptures, Lynda Benglis examines the morphology of textures. Accordingly, the surface of "To BE (B)" with its alternating glossy and matt, smooth and rough parts, creates great tension. The diversity of the surfaces effortlessly unfold from the core of the material. The original properties of the material (in this case clay) are dismantled and gain independence in their new, liberated form. Since Lynda Benglis allows the material to flow, yield and sink, she doesn't try to outsmart or dominate the material. It is the process of creation that dictates the form. This view is also clearly recognizable in our work, Lynda Benglis herself describes it as a "frozen gesture".

If one wants to place the present sculpture in an art-historical context, the association with the painting "Birth of Venus" by Botticelli comes to mind. But first of all, her personal experience certainly was the key source of inspiration. In an interview published in ‘Artforum’ (November 15, 2009), Lynda Benglis reported that she was an avid diver and fascinated by underwater formations, the way light changes in the water, the darkness and the plants. The source of inspiration for "To Be (B)" may also be found in in this background experiences. A lobster peers out of a vulva-shaped cave of swaying seaweed. With her consistent, critical questioning of common schemes of representation, Lynda Benglis’ highly esteemed work still makes a strong point today and had a lasting effect on subsequent generations of artists. Ultimately, the works of, e. g. Katharina Grosse, would be unthinkable without her as role model.



204
Lynda Benglis
To Be (B), 1992.
Ceramics, partly glazed
Estimate:
€ 20,000 / $ 18,400
Sold:
€ 40,000 / $ 36,800

(incl. surcharge)