May 28th, 2011
Helios, 1999, Bronze with gold leaf
End of Softness, 1967, Bronze with gold patina, edition 6 of 6
That’s a lot of Bs. Esp. in light of the last post. Anyway, once again I turn to, at least partly in this post, Bourgeois for inspiration. Anyone following this site knows I love her work — I think this marks the fourth or so time I’ve posted one of her works. At any rate the subject today is goldybronze. I stumbled across the Benglis piece first, and it made me think right away of Bourgeois (and this is no knock against Benglis, whose biomorphic metals voice is definitely her own). First the Benglis: I love the glammy guts of it. That finish is so sparkly cheap 80s to me, and that, combined with the sillystring squiggle of the texture, makes this feel less brain/tumor to me than squishy glitter fun pile with (though still with strong suggestions of excrement/viscera).
The Bourgeois piece I think provides great contrast. It scrunches up like a hand becoming a fist, the material tortured and violently in-folded, dark pockets seeming like howling mouths or wounds. The light loves this piece, look at the hot, white sectors and darker squiggles, lending the piece more complexity. This is a contorted and difficult piece for me to look at for very long (part of the reason I love it so); perhaps the title is partly responsible for this, suggesting an abandoning of old methods, a confident striding toward new ones. The piece in light of the text feels even more restless, transitional, purgatoried, fluxing from fluidity & the pliable, writhing painfully around new bones.
Please check out more of Benglis’ work at newmuseum.org.
More on Bourgeois’ work at the Guggenheim NY site.