Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ohhh I don't know if it's art, but I like it




The New Museum in New York City has been slimed.
Or at least that's what it looks like.

A few weeks back, I caught this article in The New York Times and promised to blog about it at a future date.  That future date is March 2nd.   It's gaudy, it's neon green, and it looks like scoops of lime sherbet melting to the floor.   The pieces of Lynda Benglis are rather epic in high art circles, or so I have read.  She seems devoted to shapes without any real structural form, but brilliant in neon color, rather departed from the mute earth tones of the bland 70s (sorry, just my opinion.)  
Note the work in the photo above.  It's the first in a 5-part series called "Phantom."  Self-supporting, strange, iridescent, foam pieces set in a darkened room.  Are they melting?  Are they formless yet freestanding?  Whatever the message (if any), the shapes seem driven to escape the boundaries and confines of art definitions just as much as they wish to escape the wall.  From what I understand, Benglis' other work is not like this and is rather erotic in nature, but it is this "Phantom" that captured my imagination.  It's not just the obvious allusions to 1950s b-sci-fi, or the similarities to tasty frozen confectioneries, there is something transcendent about the work.  Something that comes from the center of that artist without hesitation, without need for explanation, and freewheeling into our line of sight whether we wish it or not.


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