Lynda Benglis, Elephant Necklace, 14 of 20, 2017, Cast Bronze, 8.5 x 11 x 10.5 inches, Museum purchase with fund provided in honor of Allison Kendrick © Lynda Benglis

Museum Exhibitions

Lynda Benglis

Elephant Necklace

Sep 21, 2019 – Jan 19, 2020

Since the 1960s, Lynda Benglis has employed a variety of materials including beeswax, latex, vaporized metals and ceramic to explore the physicality of form. She has worked as a sculptor, painter and filmmaker in pursuit of a codified duality, seeking to expose the process of creation in its realization of finality. Her work is fluid, yet inert; organic, yet fabricated; sensual, yet rigid. The work invokes a corporeal reckoning within the viewer, exposing the preconceived constructs that exist within us. 

Benglis’s ELEPHANT NECKLACE series is a body of hand-wrought, glazed ceramic curls that the artist correlates with the blown-out tires of tractor trailer transports strewn on the sides of countless American highways. “ELEPHANT NECKLACES are artifacts that I imagine as extrusions of life,” Benglis says. “They could be described as fragments from mammoths’ trunks of an ancient time. Or perhaps they resemble strange umbilical cords cut after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden.” The series evokes the biological remnants of a mysterious past with the tactile familiarity of a modern freeway. We perceive the work in stasis while it exudes movement, as we comprehend ourselves as single bodies while our infinite cells flow and change. This duality permeates the ELEPHANT NECKLACE series in its suspension of fluidity, immediateness of an imagined origin and elegance in hewn form.


Lynda Benglis, Power Tower, 2019, silicone bronze, 89" × 64" × 72" (226.1 cm × 162.6 cm × 182.9 cm) © Lynda Benglis

And on September 24, to coincide with the Ogden Museum's presentation, Benglis's Power Tower will join the public art exhibition in downtown New Orleans known as the Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition, presented by The Helis Foundation (PCSE). Over the years, PCSE has installed more than 35 sculptures by artists of local and international renown on Poydras Street between Convention Center Boulevard and South Galvez. A public-private partnership between The Helis Foundation, Sculpture for New Orleans, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the City of New Orleans Department of Parks and Parkways, PCSE is the South’s leading rotating public sculpture exhibition.

For more information on these projects, please visit the Ogden Museum's (opens in a new window) website and The Helis Foundation's (opens in a new window) website, respectively.

  • Museum Exhibitions — Lynda Benglis On View at the Ogden Museum of Art, Sep 20, 2019