Tangipahoa B

2013. Glazed ceramic, 21 x 12 x 13" (53.3 x 30.5 x 33 cm). Courtesy the artist and Cheim & Read, New York

Benglis recalls that she became interested in playing with mounds of sand, clay, water, moss, and other “little things of and in the earth” as a child visiting her grandfather in Petal, Mississippi-a place she has described as “hill country, clay country.” She has said, “This is what people have always done-digging for clay.”

Tangipahoa B is the most recent of the ceramic works presented in this exhibition, and it is perhaps the strongest example here of Benglis's mastery of the medium's powerful potential to unite process, form, and color. There is a sense of rigidity in the square extrusion that has been manipulated by hand, while the bold glazes range from red-pink and yellow to brown and gray-black. Benglis has said, “When I do ceramics I feel a need to kind of wrestle with the material and be integrated with the form and surface.”

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