Senga Nengudi

Senga Nengudi was born in 1943 in Chicago and grew up in Los Angeles and Pasadena, where in the 1970s she became one of the leading artists in the avant-garde African-American circles. Nengudi creates assemblages with found materials, taken from daily life and thus cheap and easy to obtain; nylon stockings in particular. For her, this material best reflects the flexibility of the human body. She is interested in the changes that take place in the female body, but also in the changes in mind and their influence on the body. Sometimes she fills the nylon stockings with sand to create sensual semi-abstract shapes, at others she stretches them out in space, forming spider webs or genitalia, merging strength and vulnerability. The sculptures are then used in performances with improvised ritual dances that create an interchange between various influences, such as African Yoruba rituals, Noh theatre, jazz and Australian aboriginal art. With the materials and shapes that she uses, the artist explores and challenges concepts of race, slavery, sex, the female body, imprisonment, servitude, violence, sensuality, skin, fertility and the worn-out body.

Her work was included in the exhibition 'Untitled, 2020' (2020) at Punta della Dogana.