Galleries of Contemporary Art
Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures

Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures

August 28–December 5, 2015


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The UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art (GOCA) is proud to present a major exhibition in our campus GOCA1420 space - Senga Nengudi: Improvisational Gestures. The exhibition is co-produced with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, and is curated by Elissa Auther (Windgate Research Curator, Museum of Arts and Design and Bard Graduate Center) and Nora Burnett Abrams (Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver).

As part of the university's 50th anniversary marking, GOCA celebrates the work of long-time UCCS Visual Art faculty member (1998-2009) and internationally lauded multi-media and performance artist Senga Nengudi. This exhibition is the first survey of Nengudi's R.S.V.P. sculptures, performances, and related works from the 1970s to the present and includes an accompanying catalog publication.

Nengudi's approach to art making is inspired by and rooted in ritualistic performances from wide-ranging sources: traditional African ceremonies, Japanese Kabuki theater, Happenings from the 1960s, and other forms of modern dance. These cultural forms and rituals also root Nengudi's practice as a performance artist. Nengudi is best known for her abstract sculptures from this time, particularly her biomorphic nylon mesh series, "Respondez s'il vous plait" (1975-77), made from panty hose that the artist stretched, twisted and knotted, as well as filled at intervals with sand to create sagging breast or testicle-like bulges. In contrast to the works of many of her African-American peers, these sculptures abjured specific political content or ethnic associations, even as they powerfully evoked fragility and resilience, both bodily and psychic.

Senga Nengudi