Water Mill

Lee Bontecou

Parrish Art Museum

Lee Bontecou’s work was prominent in the ’60s, before she withdrew from artmaking and career promotion. Characteristically, she did not come to see this retrospective, either in the Museum of Contemporary art in Los Angeles, where it originated, or in Southampton.

This small show, comprised mostly of wall sculptures, was arresting and immediately satisfying in the way that art used to strive to be. Constructions of olive-green fabric stretched over wooden armatures and stitched with copper wires incorporated circular mounds in loose spirallike arrays that radiated both motion and serenity, a sense of oceanic surging that nevertheless had focus and coherence. These evocative forms sometimes accumulated in minicities of organic, prepatriarchal, hivelike architecture, at other times formed a machinery of complicated lenses and filters. In the manner of successful works of late-’50s and -’60s

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