Lynda Benglis’s sculpture Migrating Pedmarks was installed on Schwartz Common as part of the exhibition supported by the C. Ludens Ringnes Sculpture Collection in spring of 2019. This sculpture, and Cloak-Wave Pedmarks, were previously on view at LongHouse Reserve in New York. Prior to that, they were at Storm King Art Center, as part of the 2015 exhibition Water Sources. Benglis grew up surrounded by lakes, rivers, and marshes in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and has long felt a deep connection to water. These works explore patterns of flow and movement, and function not unlike fountains. The sculptures were initially formed in wet clay that Benglis hand cut and pounded into rectangular, square and triangular sheets. She then affixed them to a structure constructed of wire and plaster with hemp, resulting in a clay “skin” into which she pressed imprints of her fingers. Benglis refers to the works as “pedmarks,” rather than using the words “handprints” or “footprints,” to draw attention to the commonalities between humans and other animals. As she has stated: “I call them pedmarks, as if it might appear that they had been made ages ago by some kind of prehistoric monster . . . it is a record of an event that happened in time.”
Lynda Benglis works in many media, including wax, bronze, clay, natural latex rubber, and polyurethane foam, and first achieved recognition in the late 1960s with her poured latex and foam works. She resides in New York, Santa Fe and Ahmedabad, India, and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants. Her work can be found in many private and public collections, including the Guggenheim Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate Modern, London; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.