(b Lake Charles, LA, Oct 25, 1941).
American sculptor. She studied art and philosophy at McNeese College in Lake Charles (1959–63) before moving to New York and studying art at the Brooklyn Museum School of Art (1964–5). Benglis admired, and she was influenced by, the work of Abstract Expressionists, such as Franz Kline. Her first exhibitions were at the Bykert Gallery, New York (1968 and 1969), showing wax paintings and poured-latex sculptures (see fig.). In 1969 she began working with polyurethane foam and made Brünhilde, her first projecting foam piece, as a performance at the Galerie Müller, Cologne, in 1970. She began to collaborate with Robert Morris in 1971, which resulted in her video Mumble (1972) and Morris’s video Exchange (1973).
Benglis ran a controversial advertisement in an issue of Artforum (Nov 1974), in which she posed nude in an aggressively provocative pose with a dildo. This image was poised between showing an overt, active sexuality and other images showing nude women being objectified. This balance between multiple readings would continue to characterize her work. Also in ...