To create this work, the artist stretched out pantyhose and filled the fabric with sand. Her inspiration for creating the sculpture was how our bodies and minds change over time. Think about a time when your mind or body changed.
In the 1970s Nengudi staged performances with her artworks. She wanted people to respond to them with their bodies. Create a movement in response to this sculpture.
Kids label from 2022
R.S.V.P. I followed Nengudi’s first pregnancy and her experience of watching her changing body. “I am working with nylon mesh because it relates to the elasticity of the human body,” she explained. “From tender, tight beginnings to sagging… the body can only stand so much push and pull until it gives way, never to resume its original shape.” The sculptural installation debuted in 1977 at Just Above Midtown, a gallery that focused on work made by African American artists. During the exhibition, R.S.V.P. I functioned as a performative object for Nengudi and others, who would entangle themselves in its limb-like forms, stretching the pantyhose even further and reaching for the swollen pockets of sand.
Gallery label from 2019