Rapunzel

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  • Provenance

    The Artist
    Levy Gorvy Gallery, New York and London; and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited

    New York, Gladstone Gallery, Lyric on a Battlefield, June 23 - August 4, 2017
    New York, Brooklyn Museum; Buffalo, Albright Knox; Boston, ICA Boston; We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965 - 85, April 21, 2017 - September, 2018

  • Catalogue Essay

    SENGA NENGUDI
    Born 1943, Chicago, IL

    1971 MA, California State University at Los Angeles, CA
    1966-67 Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
    1966 BA, California State University at Los Angeles, CA

    Selected honors: Women's Caucus For Art – Lifetime Achievement Award (2010); Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2005); Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2005)
    Selected museum exhibitions and performances: Brooklyn Museum, New York; Henry Moore Foundation, Leeds; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL; Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
    Selected public collections: The Museum of Modern Art New York City, NY; Hammer Museum Los Angeles, CA; Carnegie Museum of Art Pittsburgh, PA; Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, CA; The Studio Museum in Harlem New York City, NY

    Emerging as an artist in the avant-garde scenes of Los Angeles and New York in the 1960s and 1970s, Senga Nengudi has been a trailblazing and influential force for over 50 years. Nengudi’s pioneering practice is currently the focus at the Henry Moore Foundation in Leeds, which represents the artist’s first solo institutional exhibition outside of the United States.

    Characterized by a persistently radical experimentation with material and form, Nengudi’s work spans sculpture, performance, and photography. Building upon the legacy of abstraction, Nengudi imbues her work with human, philosophical and spirituals concerns. In her famous R.S.V.P. series, for example, she stretched, filled and knotted nylon tights with sand and mounted them on walls to create “abstracted reflections of used bodies”. Initiated in 1975 following her pregnancy, the series represent humble, yet powerful, icons of the triumphs and traumas of the human body.

    “I prevail with ‘what is at hand’,” writes Nengudi. “My installations are subtle and intimate, involving issues of time and personal change. They are durable like a bird’s nest with viewers feeling welcome enough to shift from observers to participants. Utilizing masking tape, gravel, dirt, newspapers, powdered tempera, seedpods, stripped pantyhose, photos and found stuff is a statement in itself. To shape shift paradigms I find different ways to use materials others consider useless or insignificant providing proof that the disregarded and disenfranchised may also have the resilience and reformative ability to find their poetic selves.”

    Asked by Anna Souter in the September 26, 2018 Hyperallergic interview whether she considers herself a political artist, Nengudi replied, “I think there are layers to it. Simply by being, that’s a political statement. So, whatever comes out of me has all those elements of me in it: I’m black, I’m a woman, at this point I’m a woman of a certain age, which also has issues related to it. So simply by being, I am those things. I want the viewer to come in and bring their own experience to it too, and have that creative exercise within themselves.”

  • Artist Bio

    Senga Nengudi

    American • 1943

    Emerging as an artist in the avant-garde scenes of Los Angeles and New York in the 1960s and 1970s, Senga Nengudi has been a trailblazing and influential force for over 50 years. Nengudi’s pioneering practice is currently the focus at the Henry Moore Foundation in Leeds, which represents the artist’s first solo institutional exhibition outside of the United States.

    Characterized by a persistently radical experimentation with material and form, Nengudi’s work spans sculpture, performance, and photography. Building upon the legacy of abstraction, Nengudi imbues her work with human, philosophical and spirituals concerns. In her famous R.S.V.P. series, for example, she stretched, filled and knotted nylon tights with sand and mounted them on walls to create “abstracted reflections of used bodies”. Initiated in 1975 following her pregnancy, the series represent humble, yet powerful, icons of the triumphs and traumas of the human body.
     

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12

Rapunzel

signed on a label affixed to the reverse
gelatin silver print
40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm.)
Executed in 1981, this work is number 4 from an edition of 5 plus 1 artist's proof.

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AMERICAN AFRICAN AMERICAN

New York Selling Exhibition 10 January - 8 February 2019