Lynda Benglis made herself noted in the late 1960s in New York, with a series of groundbreaking works in liquid rubber latex and PVC foam. The art related more to abstract expressionism rather than minimalism and process art. Benglis was a powerful and innovative voice in an otherwise male-dominated American art environment.
The early works took the form of organic masses made flat on floors like poured paintings or molded up against walls as biomorphic sculptural shapes. With these artworks, Benglis challenged the boundary between painting and sculpture, focusing on materiality, surface, mass and form.
Benglis extends these ideas to bronze and other metals. Possibly, her distinctive expression is amplified through the radical transformation the material undergoes: Soft becomes hard, hard is experienced as soft, and gestures and movements are frozen. Within these ambiguous forms, abstraction achieves content. The forms become meaningful beyond the inherent properties of the material and are perceived as metaphorical forms. It is in this diverged space that the sculpture at Kistefos emerges.
Face Off follows directly from Benglis' visit to Kistefos, inspired by the landscape and atmosphere of the site, Scandinavian mythology and folklore. Partly frozen waterfall, - partly giant. Viewed from different angles, the artwork houses the entire dynamics and scope of the artistic oeuvre.
Photo: Face Off, Lynda Benglis, 2018. Photographer: Photo: Frédéric Boudin