Senga Nengudi was part of the avant-garde black art scene in Los Angeles and New York during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1975 she combined the simplicity of Japanese Minimalism with African ritual, African-American improvisation, and Western vernacular to create a new visual language in respondez s’il vous plait (R.S.V.P.) These abstract installations of pantyhose, partly filled with sand, stretched and attached to walls and to floors, were ‘activated’ in choreographic performances. Nengudi’s works were presented at the 2017 Venice Biennale; We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, Brooklyn Museum, NYC, 2017; Now Dig This: Art and Black Los Angeles, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, 2011; MoMA PS1, NYC, 2012; WACK! Art and The Feminist Revolution, MoCA LA; Women’s National Museum of Art, Washington, D.C.; PS1, NYC, 2007; and Dialectics of Isolation, co-curated by Ana Mendieta, A.I.R. Gallery, NYC, 1980. Nengudi’s retrospective organized by MoCA Denver and the University of Colorado, 2014, traveled to Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, 2016; DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, 2017; CAC New Orleans, and USC Fisher Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 2018.
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