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Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker

A three-person exhibition of work by Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, and Kelley Walker—now on view at our 524 West 26th Street location—examines the artists’ shared interest in vernacular and the liminal space between media. Their distinct bodies of work are linked by a perceptive and hand-crafted approach to adornment—transforming quotidian or mass-produced materials through layering, draping and collage. The resulting objects impart looseness and raw mutability, seeming to capture a momentary articulation in the life of the form. Working against precious materials and formal classifications of art, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, and Kelley Walker engage their surrounding environment to generate intimate experiences of perception.

Slideshow

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Installation view, Lynda Benglis, Eric N. Mack, Kelley Walker, Paula Cooper Gallery, New York, NY, September 8 – October 10, 2020.

Produced between 2013 and 2018, Lynda Benglis’s wall sculptures are made from handmade paper that the artist carefully wraps around an armature of chicken wire. Their white or sand-toned surfaces are then brushed with isolated gestures of acrylic medium, paint, ground coal, glitter, and gold leaf. For some, sparkles are mixed directly into the paper pulp to create a deeply iridescent skin. Contorted into flamboyant, biomorphic shapes, the works appear delicate and airy despite their vigorous torque. Perforations in the paper reveal the metal mesh underneath, as if marked by decay, while its wet application impresses a scaly webbed pattern onto the outer layer. “[The works] are very much about the interior space and their relationship to the wall,” Benglis has said. “They’re porous, like skin. For me, it has always been related to the canvas in the broad sense. I’m making my own surfaces, so these pieces are about being what they are—chicken wire and paper—but also about the illusion of form.”[1] The glittering totems demonstrate the artist’s commitment to surface ornamentation through color, material, and texture, as well as her engagement with the physiology of production. Arranged at varying heights in the gallery, the pieces seem to float across the wall.

The exhibition will include a selection of handsewn fabric sculptures by Eric N. Mack, composed from assorted garments or textile scraps including printed scarves, polyester, corduroy, oil cloth, and bleached or tie-dyed muslin. The works draw much of their significance from both the symbolic and utilitarian qualities of their medium, gesturing toward a material culture that has its roots outside art institutions. Moored to the ceiling and walls at discrete pivot points, the collaged sculptures hang in loose catenary curves or extended obliques so that they occasionally graze the floor and reframe the room through articulation and collision. “My process negotiates with the materiality connecting with the site,” Mack explains. “I look for opportunities in the architecture, which takes a degree of planning and anticipation. The work seeks intrinsic prospects for intervention, but a degree of improvisation is also a part of it: conjecture and learning in regard to what is possible spatially.”[2] The resulting compositions are radically transient. Soft and diaphanous and able to expand and contract, they challenge traditional categories of art, residing in an undefined space between painting, sculpture, adornment, and craft.

 

Installation view of Eric N. Mack's Modern Comfort, 2019 fabric, thread, pins and rope 113 1/2 x 100 x 26 in. (288.3 x 254 x 66 cm)

Eric N. Mack

Modern Comfort, 2019

fabric, thread, pins and rope

113 1/2 x 100 x 26 in. (288.3 x 254 x 66 cm)

Installation view of Eric N. Mack's Performance (suit), 2019 assorted garments, thread, pins 80 x 25 x 12 in. (203.2 x 63.5 x 30.5 cm)

Eric N. Mack

Performance (suit), 2019

assorted garments, thread, pins

80 x 25 x 12 in. (203.2 x 63.5 x 30.5 cm)

Installation view of Eric N. Mack 'Chloe’ is just the name of the girl in the photograph, 2019 assorted fabric, t-shirt, corduroy, oil cloth, Missoni knit, and thread  72 x 284 x 192 in. (182.9 x 721.4 x 487.7 cm)

Eric N. Mack

'Chloe’ is just the name of the girl in the photograph, 2019

assorted fabric, t-shirt, corduroy, oil cloth, Missoni knit, and thread

72 x 284 x 192 in. (182.9 x 721.4 x 487.7 cm)

The melding of various spatial and material conditions is also explored in Kelley Walker’s rectangular Screen to Screen paintings—montages of superimposed silkscreened images. To create the works, the artist manually transfers multiple inked layers onto a polyester mesh substrate, the armature for screen printing, held taut by an aluminum frame. Blurring the distinction between the tool of painting and its support, Walker builds a rich multidimensional field through perceptive tactics of collage. The discrete visual elements are themselves quotations of Walker’s previous works—found images relating to music, advertising, graffiti, bricks, and other motifs that Walker scans and reprints with both digital and analog interference. In the finished Screen, the ghosts of Walker’s visual idiom drift into visibility, like brief enunciations in the production and processing chain of the image. Also on view are shimmering technicolor wall works composed of thin panels of mirrored plexiglass. Meticulously cut using a handheld router, the abstractions reference the evocative shapes of Rorschach inkblots as appropriated by Andy Warhol. Their broken contours reflect back fragmented images that morph as the viewer passes by.

Available Works

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Slideshow 2

Installation view of Lynda Benglis Lois Lane (Bull Path Series), 2013-2014 handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, pigmented acrylic medium, watercolor, gold leaf 35 1/2 x 11 x 7 in. (90.2 x 27.9 x 17.8 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Lois Lane (Bull Path Series), 2013-2014

handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, pigmented acrylic medium, watercolor, gold leaf

35 1/2 x 11 x 7 in. (90.2 x 27.9 x 17.8 cm)

Detail of Lynda Benglis's Lois Lane (Bull Path Series), 2013-2014  handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, pigmented acrylic medium, watercolor, gold leaf  35 1/2 x 11 x 7 in. (90.2 x 27.9 x 17.8 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Lois Lane (Bull Path Series) (detail), 2013-2014

handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, pigmented acrylic medium, watercolor, gold leaf

35 1/2 x 11 x 7 in. (90.2 x 27.9 x 17.8 cm)

Lynda Benglis  Storm A' Coming, 2016  handmade paper over chicken wire, cast sparkles, coal tempera  27 x 32 x 15 in. (68.6 x 81.3 x 38.1 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Storm A' Coming, 2016

handmade paper over chicken wire, cast sparkles, coal tempera

27 x 32 x 15 in. (68.6 x 81.3 x 38.1 cm)

Detail of Lynda Benglis's Storm A' Coming, 2016  handmade paper over chicken wire, cast sparkles, coal tempera  27 x 32 x 15 in. (68.6 x 81.3 x 38.1 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Storm A' Coming (detail), 2016

handmade paper over chicken wire, cast sparkles, coal tempera

27 x 32 x 15 in. (68.6 x 81.3 x 38.1 cm)

Installation view of Lynda Benglis's wall piece Animal Twister, 2017 handmade paper over chicken wire, acrylic 35 x 16 x 18 in. (88.9 x 40.6 x 45.7 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Animal Twister, 2017

handmade paper over chicken wire, acrylic

35 x 16 x 18 in. (88.9 x 40.6 x 45.7 cm)

Detail of Lynda Benglis's Animal Twister, 2017  handmade paper over chicken wire, acrylic  35 x 16 x 18 in. (88.9 x 40.6 x 45.7 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Animal Twister (detail), 2017

handmade paper over chicken wire, acrylic

35 x 16 x 18 in. (88.9 x 40.6 x 45.7 cm)

Installation view, Lynda Benglis's Sparkle Flag Fern, 2016  handmade paper over chicken wire, cast sparkles  78 x 19 x 23 in. (198.1 x 48.3 x 58.4 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Sparkle Flag Fern, 2016

handmade paper over chicken wire, cast sparkles

78 x 19 x 23 in. (198.1 x 48.3 x 58.4 cm)

Detail of Lynda Benglis's Sparkle Flag Fern, 2016  handmade paper over chicken wire, cast sparkles  78 x 19 x 23 in. (198.1 x 48.3 x 58.4 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Sparkle Flag Fern, 2016

handmade paper over chicken wire, cast sparkles

78 x 19 x 23 in. (198.1 x 48.3 x 58.4 cm)

Installation view of Lynda Benglis's piece Vested Spirit, 2015  handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, acrylic medium, sparkles  36 1/2 x 16 x 11 in. (92.7 x 40.6 x 27.9 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Vested Spirit, 2015

handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, acrylic medium, sparkles

36 1/2 x 16 x 11 in. (92.7 x 40.6 x 27.9 cm)

Detail of Lynda Benglis's Vested Spirit, 2015  handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, acrylic medium, sparkles  36 1/2 x 16 x 11 in. (92.7 x 40.6 x 27.9 cm)

Lynda Benglis

Vested Spirit (detail), 2015

handmade paper over chicken wire, coal tempera, acrylic medium, sparkles

36 1/2 x 16 x 11 in. (92.7 x 40.6 x 27.9 cm)

Eric N. Mack's Key, 2020 assorted fabric, acrylic, felt, feathers, toweling, graphite 46 1/2 x 45 in. (118.1 x 114.3 cm)

Eric N. Mack

Key, 2020

assorted fabric, acrylic, felt, feathers, toweling, graphite

46 1/2 x 45 in. (118.1 x 114.3 cm)

Detail of Eric N. Mack's Key, 2020 assorted fabric, acrylic, felt, feathers, toweling, graphite 46 1/2 x 45 in. (118.1 x 114.3 cm)

Eric N. Mack

Key (detail), 2020

assorted fabric, acrylic, felt, feathers, toweling, graphite

46 1/2 x 45 in. (118.1 x 114.3 cm)

Installation view of Eric N. Mack's Modern Comfort, 2019 fabric, thread, pins and rope 113 1/2 x 100 x 26 in. (288.3 x 254 x 66 cm)

Eric N. Mack

Modern Comfort, 2019

fabric, thread, pins and rope

113 1/2 x 100 x 26 in. (288.3 x 254 x 66 cm)

Detail of Eric N. Mack's Modern Comfort, 2019  fabric, thread, pins and rope  113 1/2 x 100 x 26 in. (288.3 x 254 x 66 cm)

Eric N. Mack

Modern Comfort (detail), 2019

fabric, thread, pins and rope

113 1/2 x 100 x 26 in. (288.3 x 254 x 66 cm)

Installation view of Eric N. Mack 'Chloe’ is just the name of the girl in the photograph, 2019 assorted fabric, t-shirt, corduroy, oil cloth, Missoni knit, and thread  72 x 284 x 192 in. (182.9 x 721.4 x 487.7 cm)

Eric N. Mack

'Chloe’ is just the name of the girl in the photograph, 2019

assorted fabric, t-shirt, corduroy, oil cloth, Missoni knit, and thread

72 x 284 x 192 in. (182.9 x 721.4 x 487.7 cm)

Detail of Eric N. Mack  'Chloe’ is just the name of the girl in the photograph, 2019  assorted fabric, t-shirt, corduroy, oil cloth, Missoni knit, and thread  72 x 284 x 192 in. (182.9 x 721.4 x 487.7 cm)

Eric N. Mack

'Chloe’ is just the name of the girl in the photograph (detail), 2019

assorted fabric, t-shirt, corduroy, oil cloth, Missoni knit, and thread

72 x 284 x 192 in. (182.9 x 721.4 x 487.7 cm)

Eric N. Mack, 'Chloe’ is just the name of the girl in the photograph (side view), 2019

Eric N. Mack

'Chloe’ is just the name of the girl in the photograph (side view), 2019

assorted fabric, t-shirt, corduroy, oil cloth, Missoni knit, and thread

72 x 284 x 192 in. (182.9 x 721.4 x 487.7 cm)

Installation view of Eric N. Mack's Performance (suit), 2019 assorted garments, thread, pins 80 x 25 x 12 in. (203.2 x 63.5 x 30.5 cm)

Eric N. Mack

Performance (suit) (frontal view), 2019

assorted garments, thread, pins

80 x 25 x 12 in. (203.2 x 63.5 x 30.5 cm)

View of back of Eric N. Mack's piece Performance (suit), 2019  assorted garments, thread, pins  80 x 25 x 12 in. (203.2 x 63.5 x 30.5 cm)

Eric N. Mack

Performance (suit), 2019

assorted garments, thread, pins

80 x 25 x 12 in. (203.2 x 63.5 x 30.5 cm)

Kelley Walker, I see a Space, Moth-shaped and Enclosed, 2004

Kelley Walker

I see a Space, Moth-shaped and Enclosed, 2004

mirrored acrylic/four panels

79 x 82 in. (200.7 x 208.3 cm)

Installation view of Kelley Walker's piece I see a Semuta effect-shaped thing, 2002 mirrored acrylic / four panels each: 96 x 48 in. (243.8 x 121.9 cm) overall: 96 x 96 in. (243.8 x 243.8 cm)

Kelley Walker

I see a Semuta effect-shaped thing, 2002

mirrored acrylic on four panels

each: 96 x 48 in. (243.8 x 121.9 cm)

overall: 96 x 96 in. (243.8 x 243.8 cm)

Kelley Walker, I see a Semuta effect-shaped thing (detail), 2002

Kelley Walker

I see a Semuta effect-shaped thing (detail), 2002

mirrored acrylic on four panels

each: 96 x 48 in. (243.8 x 121.9 cm)

overall: 96 x 96 in. (243.8 x 243.8 cm)

Kelley Walker's Untitled gold leaf recycle sign from 2015, laser-cut steel 58 in. diameter x 1/8 in. (147.3 cm diameter x 3 cm)

Kelley Walker

Untitled, 2015

gold leaf on laser-cut steel

58 in. diameter x 1/8 in. (147.3 cm diameter x 3 cm)

Kelley Walker Screen to Screen 40 x 54_02, 2015 acrylic ink on silkscreen on aluminum frame 54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm)

Kelley Walker

Screen to Screen 40 x 54_02, 2015

acrylic ink on silkscreen on aluminum frame

54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm)

Kelley Walker's Screen to Screen 40 x 54_09, 2015 acrylic ink on silkscreen on aluminum frame 54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm)

Kelley Walker

Screen to Screen 40 x 54_09, 2015

acrylic ink on silkscreen on aluminum frame

54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm)

Kelley Walker's Screen to Screen 40 x 54_05, 2015 acrylic ink on silkscreen on aluminum frame 54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm)

Kelley Walker

Screen to Screen 40 x 54_05, 2015

acrylic ink on silkscreen on aluminum frame

54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm)

Kelley Walker  Screen to Screen 40 x 54_10, 2015  acrylic ink on silkscreen on aluminum frame  54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm)

Kelley Walker

Screen to Screen 40 x 54_10, 2015

acrylic ink on silkscreen on aluminum frame

54 x 40 in. (137.2 x 101.6 cm)

Footnotes

[1] Federica Bueti, “Lynda Benglis,” BOMB Magazine, December 15, 2016.

[2] Viola Angiolini, “Altered Systems of Value: Eric N. Mack,” Mousse Magazine 70, Winter 2020.