PRINT January 2010


All good art is an indiscretion. —Tennessee Williams

IN 1977, THE NEW ORLEANS MUSEUM OF ART organized an exhibition titled “Five from Louisiana.” The show featured a handful of artists from the state who had, as the exhibition catalogue put it, “gained national and international reputations, and have received honor and distinction on the contemporary art scene today.” The post-Minimal sculptor Lynda Benglis (a Port Charles, Louisiana, native living by then in New York City) was among them. Five authors were engaged to write essays or conduct interviews for the catalogue, each on or with a different artist. In something of a coup for the museum, the playwright Tennessee Williams agreed to contribute the text on Benglis. One problem immediately presented itself. By his own admission, the playwright knew almost nothing about the artist or her work.

Rather than deny this fact, Williams dramatizes

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