Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lynda Benglis and Her 'Wave of the World'

Essentially, I think I repeat ideas of nature, and I
process them and interpret them. . . .
~ Lynda Benglis

Sculptor Lynda Benglis created the first of her fountains, The Wave of the World, in 1983-84. Installed at the Louisiana World Exposition in New Orleans in 1984, the huge, freestanding bronze sculpture subsequently went missing. Found years later in a no-longer-operating sewer treatment plant in Kenner, Louisiana, it went back to the site of its casting, Modern Art Foundry, in Queens, New York, where it was repaired. The restored 19-foot-high sculpture is on view once again, this time in New Orleans City Park, where it is expected to remain for the next four years.

The interesting Art21 video that follows shows Benglis at work on her model for the sculpture (she used a wire structure overlain with poured latex and foam, cinched metal, and dripped wax) and its restoration.

For background, read John d'Addario's article at Hyperallergic, "Lost and Found: Lynda Benglis's 'The Wave'" (May 14, 2014) and Lauren LaBorde's "'The Wave' Is Now Installed in City Park", NOLA Curbed (July 14, 2015). Also see Adriane Quinlan's articles at The Times-Picayune: "At Former Kenner Sewage Plant, An Avant Garde Sculpture Sits Unseen for Three Decades" (October 11, 2013), "Kenner's Long Lost Lynda Benglis Sculpture to Get a Polish, But What Then?" (May 13, 2014), "Long-Lost Lynda Benglis Sculpture 'The Wave' Headed to City Park" (May 1, 2015), and "Long Lost Lynda Benglis Sculpture Reviewed by The New York Times" (June 22, 2015).

The exhibition "Lynda Benglis: Water Sources" continues through November 8 at Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York.

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