Cloak-Wave Pedmarks

1998. Bronze with black patina and polished bronze interior, 7' 1 ½" x 7' 2" x 56" (217.2 x 218.4 x 142.2 cm). Courtesy the artist and Cheim & Read, New York

Migrating Pedmarks

1998. Bronze with black-and-white patina, 7' 3" x 11' 3" x 8' (221 x 342.9 x 243.8 cm). Courtesy the artist and Cheim & Read, New York

Cloak-Wave Pedmarks and Migrating Pedmarks were made in a period when Benglis was thinking frequently about fountains and water flow; indeed, Benglis has noted that these works themselves could have become fountains, as is evidenced in the way they cantilever forward. Their bronze surfaces betray ample evidence of their initiation in wet clay-Benglis hand cut and pounded rectangular, square and triangular sheets of clay upon a structure she had created in wire and plaster with hemp, creating a clay “skin” abounding with imprints of her fingers. The two works have human forms; Cloak-Wave Pedmarks, as Benglis has noted, looks a bit like a Japanese kimono. Benglis called the works “pedmarks,” rather than using the words “handprints” or “footprints,” to call attention to similarities between human and animal life. “I call them pedmarks, as if it might appear that they had been made ages ago by some kind of prehistoric monster . . . it is a record of an event that happened in time.”

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