Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

*R.S.V.P. Fall 1976*

Senga Nengudi. R.S.V.P. Fall 1976. 1976/2017 369

Nylon mesh, sand, and pins, 41 × 19 1/2 × 2 1/2" (104.1 × 49.5 × 6.4 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Gift of Irving Stenn, Bernard I. Lumpkin, and Jackson Tang in honor of Naomi Beckwith

Linda Goode Bryant: JAM wasn’t about the objects. It always, always was about artists just being as creative as they fucking wanted to be.

Artist, Senga Nengudi: I went to JAM to do my R.S.V.P. exhibit and I can just picture going up in the elevator and this very small gallery with a lot of energy coming out of it. I love putting as much of a show in my purse as possible. So I was able to do that with a lot of those pieces. I was able to put ‘em in a suitcase and then pull them out and stretch them out and have this exhibit.

I would get pantyhose from friends as well as myself and go to thrift stores. They had such great crotches. They were all different. I used very specific nails for each one. And then I used a lot of needles.

Curator, Thomas (T.) Jean Lax: David Hammons also used unconventional material in his work. Untitled Reed Fetish features human hair, string, and pieces cut from vinyl records.

Linda Goode Bryant: The reason I’m excited about putting David’s piece and Senga’s together is that they really influenced each other.

Artists were using what I called remains, like pantyhose. Once you got a run in that pantyhose, it wasn’t good for anything else. So I usually tossed them away. David’s using hair from barbershops on the floor to make work. Everyone was taking things out of the context of their lives.

I learned from Senga that when David started coming back and forth between LA and New York, that he would let her be in his studio in LA while he was gone. And so she was around that energy and then he’d come back and her energy would be in that space. The synergy of that affects us, even if it’s subliminal.

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