Vacuum-Formed Sculptures and Related Drawings
Text by Elisabeth Sussman.
Published by Knoedler & Company, New York
In her essay for this concise new catalogue of Lee Bontecou's early transparent vacuum-formed fish and flora sculptures and associated works on paper, the esteemed curator and art historian Elisabeth Sussman writes, "From a standpoint 40 years later, as sculptors everywhere seek to marry form, expression, observation, social context and modern materials in single objects and in groups of objects, or installations; when making materials function in individual, idiosyncratic, expressive ways is a mark of distinction; Bontecou's fish and plants of the late 1960s and early 1970s now appear highly prophetic." Bontecou's early summers in Nova Scotia imbued her with a lifelong fascination with nature and the sea. After studying at the Art Students League in New York (1952-55) and spending a year in Rome on a Fulbright Fellowship (1956-57), Bontecou settled in New York's Lower East Side, and then Soho. In the late 1960s, however, she began to spend part of each year in the mountains of rural Pennsylvania, where she immersed herself in an evocative inner world of natural forms derived from fish and plants. Using a vacuum-forming machine invented by an artist friend, Bontecou created the haunting, lightweight translucent sculptures gathered here.
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