On October 21st, 2015, the UCCS Galleries of Contemporary Art will be glad to have Senga Nengudi in our GOCA1420 gallery space in conversation with curators Elissa Auther and Norah Burnett Adams. Being the first major showing of Nengudi’s solo work, GOCA wants to highlight the importance and depth of her work by allowing guests in the gallery space to explore and question the art highlighted from decades of pieces to choose from.
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.
In addition to being able to hear Senga and the curators discuss and answer questions about the exhibit and her artistic mediums, there will be a catalog release of Nengudi’s work that will be available for purchase at the talk. This catalog is the first one featuring only Nengudi’s work, and we are very proud to be hosting this event. The artist talk will begin at 6 pm in the campus gallery location.