Lynda Benglis’ recent sculptures are a body of images flooded with the alchemic workings of intuition extruded and manipulated into clay. The work in Chimera has been actualized with spontaneous and intuitive force, a creative mode requiring flux. Thus, these sculptural forms explore a subterranean water-world of unconscious motion thoughtfully sealed with explosive, slithering or creeping glazes.
The visual convergence in Benglis’ work is that of the earthy and the fluid. By this measure the work reflects the divine proportions and lines of the human body. Abstract and figurative shapes appear to be coded with mathematical intuition that Benglis manifested in relation to her torso, hands, and her forearm while the clay was in creative motion. As such, an underlying symmetry between the human-made and the natural emerges.
For the exhibition, I have chosen the work which provokes the emotional before the intellectual. When Lynda set out to work with clay, she followed a long divining rod career given to stretching art and medium to her own rhythms. By responding to these machinations, for Chimera, Benglis rejected the stacked and conventional preciousness largely given to ceramics. This adventure — abstracted from a sensitivity to a place—imbues the work with the quality of the ancient unearthed and the intangible vista of Benglis’ New Mexico.
— Curator’s Statement by Cydney Payton, BMoCA