Benglis used pigmented beeswax to make Embryo II, one of a series of lozenge-shaped works from the mid-1960s that she scaled to the length of her arm. She brushed hot beeswax in upward strokes on the object's top half, and in downward strokes on the bottom. As it cooled, the wax formed a craggy topography, which Benglis amplified with a blowtorch. Reacting against what she viewed as the austerity of Minimalism, she embraced unusual materials, gaudy color, and bodily references. She also breathed new life into the dripping and pouring that had been associated with Abstract Expressionism, which in Benglis’'s hands became witty and subversive rather than emotionally cathartic.
Gallery label from Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, April 19 - August 13, 2017.