On view

American, b. 1941
North South East West, 1988/2009/2014–15
Cast bronze fountain and steel
66 in. x 7 ft. 6 in. x 56 in. (167.6 x 228.6 x 142.2 cm)
Courtesy the artist and Pace Gallery
© 2021 Lynda Benglis / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Photo by Jerry L. Thompson
The smooth, dripping surfaces of this sculpture's bronze elementswhich resemble ocean waves lapping at the shore, slow-moving lava, or prehistoric creatureswere created with polyurethane foam, which Benglis poured over a large Ming ceramic pot and a support over the pot that she had fashioned out of wire. She has noted that this work resembles an implosion, or a volcanic eruption. Since 1968 Benglis has made latex rubber paintings, thinking of oil slicks in her hometown bayous and lakes, and later moved into polyurethane foam sculptures, both on the floor and cantilevered off the wall. North South East West was created in this manner. She appreciates that this technique invites some element of the unknown into her process. However, as she has stated, “while there's some accident, I have control.” The four elements of North South East West were identical until 2015, when Benglis reworked and added bronze elements to the surfaces of three of them, creating a “collaged” bronze. The original form is kept in the East element. In creating larger works, Benglis has spent ample time at metal foundries, and she has integrated the working methods of the foundry into her artistic process. As Benglis has said, “The foundries are my studios, and their employees, my collaborators.”


Other works by this artist

Nu, 1974