Collection 1970s–Present

Senga Nengudi. R.S.V.P. I. 1977/2003 271

Pantyhose and sand, 10 pieces, Overall dimensions variable. Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds, and The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art

Artist, Senga Nengudi: The first reaction is to giggle because you see something so common as panty hose being used in sculpture. And then again you get deeper into the piece as you stay with it.

I very much liked the idea of used pantyhose. Because when a woman wears pantyhose, she’s usually under extreme stress. I felt as though, somehow, they were infused with the energy of the woman that wore them.

I was equally fascinated in how resilient the body was, and I really wanted to somehow duplicate that experience. I also was dealing with the idea of the female psyche, that your psyche can stretch, stretch, stretch and come back into shape. And when placing sand in the panty hose there was a sense of sensuality, which I also wanted to express with these pieces.

Artist, Maren Hassinger: I’m Maren Hassinger. Senga Nengudi and I have known each other for too long to talk about.

One of the last things that Senga, and I did together as collaborators in movement in sculpture. She had an entire installation of pantyhose all around the entire huge gallery, and then she had set up this one situation which I performed in. And we rehearsed it. And we worked out these movements. I couldn't see what I was doing while I was doing it, but I followed her direction. It was amazing.