Curated by Geoff Newton
01 Oct 2014—18 Oct 2014
Philip Brophy, Robert Mapplethorpe, Cosey Fanni Tutti, John Meade, The Kingpins, Lyndal Walker & Concettina Inserra, Rohan Wealleans, Fiona Macdonald & Thérèse Mastroiacovo
Neon Parc is proud to present the new exhibition !Benglis 73 / 74″ in conjunction with TCB Art Inc. and Sutton Gallery Project Space, curated by Neon Parc director Geoff Newton. 2014 is the 40th anniversary of Lynda Benglis”s notorious advertisement published in the November 1974 issue of Artforum. The advertisement — a two-page “centrefold” spread featuring a colour photograph of Benglis appearing naked, oiled and suntanned, sporting only a pair of sunglasses and wielding a huge cast latex dildo between her thighs — originally formed part of a dialogue with friend and collaborator, the artist Robert Morris. Artforum”s decision to publish Benglis”s advert, however, caused a huge schism within the magazine, ultimately leading associate editors Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson to abandon Artforum and establish October journal, citing that Benglis”s advertisement was an !object of extreme vulgarity” and retarded the women”s liberation movement. For others, Benglis”s gesture (backed by her dealer Paula Cooper, who arranged for the ad”s placement) was a staunchly feminist and empowering critique of gender stereotyping in art, as well as a critical exposé of the proximity of art criticism to commerce. As Roberta Smith put it, !the ad became a lightning rod for conflicting views of feminism, pornography, editorial (and critical) responsibility, art-world economics, reputation-building and artistic license.”
Benglis is best known for her post-Minimalist sculptural works that pioneered the use of materials like polyeurethane resin, liquid latex and molten metals, and which took on distinctly non-hardedge forms — like flows, blobs, drips and smears. In her use of lurid colours, organic shapes and liquiform materials, Benglis subverted the industrial aesthetic of Minimalism and its perceived relation to masculinity. Today, the essentialist binary pairings of man/woman, hard/soft, machinic/organic have themselves become a subject of critique. This new exhibition, !Benglis 73 / 74″, explores the resonances of such terms forty years on from the historic Artforum incident. It examines the way conceptions of gender, abstraction, sculpture, installation and the body have developed since the mid 1970s, and how these ideas have, in turn, shaped contemporary art. It takes place across three venues — Neon Parc, TCB Art Inc. and Sutton Gallery Project Space — and features work by Australian and international artists:.
The exhibition coincides with the artist”s 73rd birthday.
This exhibition has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.