New York

Lynda Benglis

Paula Cooper Gallery | 529 West 21st Street

Lynda Benglis used to do poured pieces in “two” dimensions, lush with swirls of color, large latex mats. Painterly and rich, they seemed the resurrection of extraordinary craft by a slower, gentler sensibility, an event to enjoy and herald.

But Benglis has now abandoned the meander for the glop and blob. Her current work, poured too, consists of three-dimensional corner and wall pieces like servings of semi-liquid ice cream for a giant. At the sight of them the Statue of Liberty would smack her lips, but fantastic Pop gratitude aside, in these pieces Benglis downplays her fine sense of color (monochromes predominate, some pieces are even all grey) and moves toward a structural literalism—viscosity as structure—which resembles Richard Serra’s recent concern with balancing as structure. That it can be linked at all with Serra’s literalism shows how far Benglis’s work has come from the expressive, romantic sensibility which first nourished it. I enjoy the idea that that sensibility may bloom again.

––Jean-Louis Bourgeois