Art@Site Lynda Benglis Pink Ladies California

Lynda Benglis


Pink Ladies

The Donum Estate
Pink Ladies has captivating color shades of pink, red, white and brown. The form of the chalice and the structure remind me of blackberries. Thinking of juicy blackberries is mouth watering. I remember the refreshment of my skin at the sight of the water flowing from the fountain.
Fruits are to enjoy. Fruit is ‘lightness’. Fruit is a not essential, like bread or water. May we reflect on taste, color, warmth? How important is lightness? May we allow that an artwork has ‘lightness’ as a subject?
It is absolutely right that we pay attention to lightness after the hunger is satisfied, the war is over, our roof is waterproof. Or may we turn it around? When is there room for lightness? Must we always been taken by ‘heavy’ and ‘serious’ topics?
I take a middle position. Hopefully I can pay a lot of my attention to lightness and artworks like Pink Ladies by Lynda Benglis.
By Theo,

Pink Ladies heeft fascinerende kleurovergangen van fuchsia, rood, wit en bruin. De vorm van de kelk en de structuur doen mij denken aan bramen. Het water loopt in mijn mond bij het zien van de sappige bramen. Ik voel al de verkoeling van mijn huid bij het zien van het water dat uit de fontein stroomt.
Fruit is om van de genieten. Fruit is ‘lichtheid’. Fruit is niet essentieel zoals brood of water. Mogen wij stilstaan bij smaak, kleur, warmte? Hoe essentieel is lichtheid? Mogen wij toestaan dat een kunstwerk ‘lichtheid’ als onderwerp heeft?
Het is helemaal terecht dat wij aandacht besteden aan lichtheid, pas nadat de honger gestild is, de oorlogsdreiging voorbij is, het dak boven ons hoofd waterdicht is. Of mogen wij het ook omdraaien? Wanneer mag er ruimte zijn voor lichtheid? Moeten wij altijd in beslag genomen worden door ‘zware’ en ‘serieuze’ onderwerpen?
Ik neem een middenpositie in. Hopelijk kan ik véél van mijn aandacht besteden aan lichtheid en kunstwerken zoals Pink Ladies van Lynda Benglis.
Door Theo,
Using brightly colored polyurethane foam and incorporating wide-ranging influences, such as Abstract Expressionism, Process Art, Minimalism, Feminist art, geological forms, and ceremonial totems, Benglis developed her instantly recognizable sculptural language of undulating, oozing biomorphic forms. Along with other feminist artists, she challenged the cool, rationalist premise of the male-dominated Minimalist movement, refusing to accept limitations, whether political or aesthetic.
The vivid pink color of these fountains is inspired by a single kite that Benglis saw with Asha Sarabhai during an annual kite-flying festival in Ahmedabad, India. The color is also a knowing reference to fashion editor Diana Vreeland, who once called pink 'the navy blue of India.'
'Pink, is very floral, lush color,' Benglis points out. 'No color is quite as seductive as this color is in nature. There are so many beautiful pink flowers – rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias ... I hate that kind of matte coloration of bronze, the painting of metal. Metal is metal, and plastic is plastic. The plastics with different refractive indexes reflect all the different colors around them, but also within them – you have a rainbow of color.'
As a young artist living in late 1960s New York, Lynda Benglis made a name for herself by pouring latex over a floor and creating flat and brightly colored sculptures out of it. Her works often seem to drip and spill. They are inspired by the Greek-American artist's lifelong love of the sea, and they frequently come in candy colors.
'Pink Ladies' is no exception: it's a tinted polyurethane fountain. The idea came to Benglis when she attended a kite-flying festival in Ahmedabad, India and watched a bright pink kite hovering in the sky. The work is also a tribute to the fashion and interior designer Asha Sarabhai, who hosted Benglis in Ahmebebad and whose brother Anand became her life partner. (He died in 2013).
'I've always been involved with waves, and the movement of the sea,' says Benglis, explaining her fountain works. 'I can remember, coming from Lake Charles, being in boats with my father who took me fishing. I grew up having a boat, a long 35-footer wooden Thompson.'
'One of the things that always fascinated me was that feeling of the wave and the surge of the sea,' she notes. 'So I really understood why my art was the way it was, and I realized that a lot of my art had to do with the unconscious, and feelings of buoyance, upside-down or not.'
In addition to sculpture, Benglis works in video and photography, and has used media interventions (such as a well known ad placed in Artforum in 1974, showing the artist nude with a dildo between her legs) to explore notions of power and gender relations.
In autumn 1979 Benglis was invited to the residency program at the home of the Sarabhai family in Ahmedabad, and stayed for six weeks. The following spring she visited again, for five months. Thus began a life-long engagement with Ahmedabad, and Indian culture; Benglis still visits the country frequently.
Benglis has had recent retrospectives at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and at the Hepworth Wakefield Gallery in England. Her work is in the collections of MoMA, the Guggenheim, LACMA, the Whitney Museum and Storm King Art Center, New York. She lives between New York, Santa Fe and Ahmedabad.