The Easel

3rd March 2020

Lynda Benglis Pours One Out

A notorious 1974 nude portrait in Artforum announced Benglis as a provocateur. Over a lengthy career, she has stayed faithful to type. Early poured-latex sculptures shook up sculpture. Her video art was disruptive. She used shamelessly bright colours at a time of “revered monochrome”. So, provocateur – why not? Artists get recognition “because they’re not just making objects to be seen, they’re making their beliefs as they feel them”.

The cold, imperious beauty of Donald Judd

Realising that his paintings were a bit so-so, Judd switched to 3-D “objects” (boxes to you and I). Even though abstract expressionism was dominant, this work made a big splash. This New York retrospective acknowledges that Judd’s minimal aesthetic is now so influential it is “engulfing”. Still, his objects are visually austere. “I would tell you my emotional responses to the gorgeous [Judd] works … if I had any”.