IFA features Benglis’ art for Great Hall ExhibitionsPosted on September 19, 2013 | by Aziza Ingram
Lynda Benglis first made her appearance in the New York art scene in the 1960s when she challenged the ideas of masculine art and male artists. She rivaled the action paintings of Jackson Pollock by pouring unconventional materials such as latex and polyurethane in bright colors directly onto floors.
The NYU Institute of Fine Arts’ Duke House is now showing a large collection of Benglis’ works, the first in a series of shows for The Great Hall Exhibitions, which will hold two shows per year of prominent contemporary artists.
Jeffrey Uslip, curator of the show and doctoral candidate at IFA, said Benglis is an advocate for the feminist movement and has made bold statements in her artistic career.
“This show is one that investigates feminism while also honoring longtime [IFA] faculty member, Linda Nochlin, and artistic tradition,” Uslip said.
Benglis’ art is being shown in a four-piece exhibit in the lobby of IFA. The Duke House looks like any other building on the Upper East Side, but its interior is striking. A winding staircase cascades from the second floor as light streams down from the skylight. There is a wonderful tapestry on the massive wall behind the stairs, along with ornate molding and trim. The building is designed in a classic Greco-Roman style.
This creates a wondrous backdrop for Benglis’ works — the juxtaposition of classical pieces and psychedelic ’60s minimal art is striking.
“The uniqueness of the work truly shows in the space, and should be seen from an aerial view,” Robert Slifkin, an NYU assistant professor of fine arts, said. “It was a challenge putting the show in a high-traffic area but it had to be done in order to get rid of the frame.”
Benglis’ installation in the lobby of IFA brings the feminist movement to the forefront and reminds viewers that the fight is not over. The pieces look quite strange at first glance, but resonate after further examination.
“We are lucky to have the pieces and it is a privilege to see it everyday,” said IFA master student Sara Getto.
The exhibit runs through Oct. 20. The Duke House is located at 1 East 78th St. It is open to NYU students daily and to the public on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m.
A version of this article appeared in the Thursday, Sept. 19 print edition. Aziza Ingram is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.