Made in New York

Lee Bontecou. Untitled. 1961

Welded steel, canvas, fabric, rawhide, copper wire, and soot, 6' 8 1/4" x 7' 5" x 34 3/4" (203.6 x 226 x 88 cm). Kay Sage Tanguy Fund. © 2023 Lee Bontecou

Alex Fialho: Artist Lee Bontecou lived in the East Village, Lower East Side, when she made this large-scale abstract sculpture. Here is Bontecou describing her process:

Artist, Lee Bontecou: I used to live over a laundry. And the old conveyor belts, he just threw away and I was just really lucky. Nice heavy canvas and that had some good old fashioned grease and the right color, and I used to take them and cut the pieces of canvas and stretch them in there with wire.

Curator, Ann Temkin: Her work has the feel, to me, of downtown New York in the 1950s and ‘60s. Bontecou could go out into the street and collect all sorts of trash and discarded materials that really allowed her to make her art out of her neighborhood, to make her art a thing of place as well as of her own imaginary vision.

Lee Bontecou: I was trying to search out for my own language, my own statement. I started to try to get at space that could go endless.

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