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Curator’s Talk

Wed 15 May, 6–7pm. Free. Book via Eventbrite

Curator of the Senga Nengudi exhibition Laurence Sillars will be in conversation with the Fruitmarket’s Director Fiona Bradley. Come and find out more about the curatorial process behind the current exhibition, organised by and first shown at the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds. The exhibition emerged out of conversations and collaboration between Laurence Sillars and Senga Nengudi. Through careful research, Sillars unearthed many works that had been unseen since they were first made, asking Nengudi to remake them especially for this exhibition. These include the water compositions, shown again for the first time since the 1960s, and the newspaper installation Bulemia, not seen since its original presentation in 1990. The exhibition also includes a new Sandmining installation, made for the first time at the Henry Moore Institute.

Laurence Sillarsis Head of Henry Moore Institute Programmes in Leeds. He has worked as Chief Curator at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, and Curator of Exhibitions and Collections at Tate Liverpool, as well as holding roles at the Liverpool Biennial, the Arts Council Collection, the Whitechapel Gallery and the Chisenhale Gallery. In 2007 he curated the first Turner Prize exhibition held outside London, and has produced major exhibitions and projects by international artists that have toured to Europe and North America. He holds an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London.

This exhibition is curated by Laurence Sillars, Head of Henry Moore Institute Programmes and was shown at Henry Moore Institute, Leeds from 21 September 2018 – 17 February 2019.

 

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Sunday Makers: Human Objects

Sun 12 May, 10–11am. 12 places for 8–11 year olds. Free.

In this workshop you will work with artist Louise Fraser to make sculptures with the body in mind, experimenting with water, textures and weight, inspired by Senga Nengudi’s exhibition.

 

To book for this workshop, please call the bookshop on 0131 226 8181 or email bookshop@fruitmarket.co.uk

Image: Senga Nengudi, Untitled (Water Composition), 1969-70/2018. Installation view, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.

Courtesy the artist; Lévy Gorvy, New York, London; and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York. Photo: John McKenzie.

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Sew me a quilt. Tell you a story.

Thu 25 Apr, 6–8.30pm. Free. Book via Eventbrite

A performative conversation between Carol Tulloch (Chelsea College of Arts) and Sequoia Barnes (Edinburgh College of Arts) about black creativity and the fashioning of black women artists in relation to Senga Nengudi’s work. The concept of fashioning – the establishment of codes of dressing both engineered by and superimposed onto groups of people – offers one entry point into Nengudi’s work with works in the exhibition like Ceremony for Freeway Fets 1978 the R.S.V.P. series featuring costume and textiles associated with black bodies and women’s bodies.

With the intention of holding space, the form of open listening that allows for full emotional experience and healing in an encounter, Tulloch and Barnes will talk while sewing a quilt in an activity that is a longstanding signifier for black women’s traditions, storytelling & communal experience.

Image: Senga Nengudi Ceremony for Freeway Fets, 1979. Documentation of performance and installation piece, Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles. Courtesy the artist; Lévy Gorvy, New York, London; and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York. Photo: Quaku/Roderick Young.

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Maybe I want to hang in the air like smoke, thick and waiting to be moved

Sun 7 Apr, 6–7.30pm. Free. Book via Eventbrite

In this participatory event, fashion scholar Sequoia Barnes and artist, poet and dancer Christopher Kirubi invite you to join them in creating bodily responses to Senga Nengudi’s work, and a curated soundscape of music and words.

Senga Nengudi’s exhibition is showing at The Fruitmarket Gallery 16 March – 26 May 2019.

Image: Senga Nengudi, Performance Piece, 1978. Courtesy the artist; Lévy Gorvy, New York, London; and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York Photo: Harmon Outlaw

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Exhibition: Senga Nengudi

Senga Nengudi
Organised by the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds.
16 March – 26 May 2019

We are delighted to bring to the Fruitmarket Gallery the first solo institutional exhibition of the work of Senga Nengudi outside the United States. It includes work from 1969 to the present, with recreations of work not seen since the 1970s and a major new installation.

Born in Chicago in 1943, Senga Nengudi has been a trailblazer in sculpture for fifty years. A vital figure in the African American avant-garde scenes of Los Angeles and New York in the 1960s and 1970s, her work is characterised by a persistently radical experimentation with material and form.

The exhibition offers the chance to see significant examples from Nengudi’s best known body of work, the R.S.V.P. series, in which nylon tights are stretched, knotted, filled with sand and mounted between the walls and the floor in powerful, yet humble, figurations of the triumphs and traumas of the human body. It also includes several Untitled (Water Composition)sculptures from the late 1960s /1970s. Undermining the static and industrial tendencies of Minimalist sculpture, these abstract water sculptures hang and flop with the weight of a body, mimicking flesh while responding to the viewer’s touch.

Much of Nengudi’s work has been informed by her long-standing interest in spiritual rituals and performance across cultures. The exhibition includes documentary photographs and film of performances from the 1970s, and a new Sandmininginstallation which was made specially for the exhibition, which is shown alongside elements from the Wet Night – Early Dawn – Scat Chant – Pilgrim’s Song series from the 1990s, the works together exploring the artist’s long-standing interest in the commonalities of different belief systems and pilgrimage.

Offering an expansive overview of Nengudi’s practice and shedding light on the work of a figure fundamental to Postminimalism, this exhibition asserts Nengudi’s vital position within a generation of artists who redefined the possibilities of sculpture and representations of race and gender while drawing upon a tradition of abstraction.

Organised by the Henry Moore Institute, Leeds
Curated by Laurence Sillars, Head of Henry Moore Institute Programmes

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Image: Performance Piece, 1978. Courtesy the artist; Lévy Gorvy, New York, London; and Thomas Erben Gallery, New York Photo: Harmon Outlaw

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Exhibition Preview: Senga Nengudi

Senga Nengudi
16 March – 26 May 2019

Join us for the preview of the first solo institutional exhibition of the work of Senga Nengudi outside the United States. Originally organised by the Henry Moore Institute, the exhibition brings together pioneering sculpture, photography and documentation of performance from 1969 to the present, including recreations of work not seen since the 1970s and a major new installation.

Born in Chicago in 1943, Senga Nengudi has been a trailblazer in sculpture for fifty years. A vital figure in the avant-garde scenes of Los Angeles and New York in the 1960s and 1970s, her work is characterised by a persistently radical experimentation with material and form.

Among Nengudi’s earliest works are her Untitled (Water Composition)sculptures from the late 1960s–1970s. Made from heat-sealed transparent vinyl and filled with coloured water, these works have been unseen for forty years, and a number have been recreated especially for this exhibition. Undermining the static and industrial tendencies of Minimalist sculpture, these abstract water sculptures hang and flop with the weight of a body, mimicking flesh while responding to the viewer’s touch.

The R.S.V.P. series is perhaps Nengudi’s best known body of work, and the exhibition includes several significant examples. Begun in 1975, the works are made with nylon tights stretched, knotted, filled with sand and mounted between the walls and the floor. Nengudi has referred to these influential pieces as ‘abstracted reflections of used bodies’ and they remain powerful, yet humble, icons of the triumphs and traumas of the human body. As well as exhibiting them as sculpture, Nengudi used them in performance, and the exhibition includes the triptych of photographs Performance Piece(1978), in which Maren Hassinger, a long-time collaborator and choreographer, interacts with R.S.V.P. sculptures.

Much of Nengudi’s work has been informed by her longstanding interest in spiritual rituals across cultures. Ceremony for Freeway Fets(1978) comprises eleven photographs documenting a performance Nengudi made with Hassinger, David Hammons and members of the Studio Z collective in a Los Angeles freeway underpass in 1978. A new Sandmining installation was made specially for the exhibition, and is shown alongside elements from the Wet Night – Early Dawn – Scat Chant – Pilgrim’s Song series from the 1990s, the works together exploring the artist’s ongoing investigations into the commonalities of different belief systems and pilgrimage.

Offering an expansive overview of Nengudi’s practice and shedding light on the work of a figure fundamental to Postminimalism, this exhibition asserts Nengudi’s vital position within a generation of artists who redefined the possibilities of sculpture and representations of race and gender, while drawing upon a tradition of abstraction.

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