Friday, December 12, 2008

One Artist, An Array of Media

I’ve always enjoyed the work of Lynda Benglis though never had much of an opportunity with which to spend time as a student or teacher of art history. Lynda Benglis As Printmaker, which closes this weekend at the Carl Solway Gallery gave me that rare chance to see her work as more than just one example of Post-Minimalist work.

Her Bounce and Contraband from the late 1960s were always my favorites of the organic pieces common to Post-Minimalism that both rely on and impose themselves on the gallery space. These two pieces are not part of this retrospective, but walking into the Carl Solway Gallery this morning was met with a brilliance of color that similarly oozes from the white walls.

While at least one local reviewer tried to classify Benglis’ style, we quickly find that this show proves the task difficult. As with most Post Minimalist works, the media perhaps even more than the artist is the subject of a retrospective. Benglis’ ability to fully exploit the range of the media allows her to refuse being classified.

I've said it before, single artist shows prove more challenging for the viewer. And Benglis shows an artist retrospective can be more dynamic as well. I look forward to seeing such exhibitions at the Carl Solway Gallery in the future.