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"Lynda Benglis, Lagniappe: Bayou Babe, 1977 @moca. She had mid-70s shows of decorative-oriented works such as this one, like outsize jewelry. I like what the artist said in 2018 about decoration. Lynda Benglis, interviewed—artnet, Margaret Carrigan, 06/05/18. INT: Homemaking is a culturally loaded term as it has definite gender-specific connotations that relate to women and their role in society. Are you linking homemaking with creative expression at large? LB: I’m interested in this idea of decoration. Years ago, at the height of Minimalism, a well-known critic said to me, “Lynda, your art is so decorative.” And I said, “What’s wrong with decoration?” That was around the time Barbara Rose coined the term “ABC Art” to describe art being stripped to its bare bones, and that idea just didn’t go with decoration. But I was looking at stuff like Frank Stella’s work and I didn’t see a huge difference between the two. He was interested in things like graphics and symbols and how those are reductive, but those things can be repeated visually, flattening their meaning out and turning them into something like decoration. INT: Well, you essentially made the definitive link between decoration and Minimalism. Your latex floor pours and amorphous sculptures all operate in the same vein as other Minimalist works like Donald Judd’s cubes and Carl Andre’s grids in that they are experiential rather than narrative. Unlike their work, however, which is very muted in appearance, yours is shiny, sparkly, and sometimes even glow-in-the-dark. I dare say, you bedazzled Minimalism. What interested you about those materials? LB: Like I said earlier, it’s an animal thing. We’re inherently attracted to shiny, sparkly things. Our eyes are honed by millennia of evolution to see them. But as we become increasingly socialized, we’re taught to limit our appreciation for glitter. I grew up with sparkly things, like my dance baton and my bright pink girl’s dance costume, and I loved those things. I still do. Why should what we’re naturally drawn to be conditioned out of us?"
|Barbara Zucker's Blushing Bride, 1977|