Lynda Benglis, Chitimacha, 2013. Glazed ceramic, 18.5 x 28 x 12 in

New York – Lynda Benglis : Cheim & Read

Lynda Benglis’s terrific show of table-top clay sculptures reminded us, yet again, that the New York School’s achievements can be furthered in the hands of a top-notch artist. Benglis, who has studios all over the world, made these works in New Mexico, but she remains a quintessential New Yorker. Her work maintains an erotically charged, assertive bravado, and these smallish sculptures, resting on white plinths, are formally exuberant—made more so by the freewheeling, painterly treatment of their surfaces. The combination of uninhibited energy and forceful but also disciplined handling of the clay prompts enthusiasm and delight and perhaps a touch of regret that such work is increasingly difficult to find. But Benglis is so enthusiastic in her work that viewers cannot help but feel optimistic that someone still feels excited about clay sculpture. She comes across as a spontaneous artist whose works in this show display not only earthy, rhythmic form, but also a driving vigor representative of Ab-Ex achievements in painting. It is worth noting that Benglis’s accomplishments in clay sculpture came relatively late in her career, starting in the early 1990s…see the entire review in the print version of May’s Sculpture magazine.

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