Danto on Bontecou

“Walking through the retrospective exhibition of Lee Bontecou, on view at MoMA-Queens, is uncannily like visiting an out-of-the-way museum of natural history, as if her entire work to date had been dedicated to the creation of a single work of installation art: a musée imaginaire. It begins with some animal sculptures and continues through what look like scientific instruments–cameras and other devices for the observation and recording of nature. These evolve into larger and larger structures, made of wire armatures covered with scraps of used fabric, each with one or two dark holes; like tribal masks, they convey an air of menace and mystery. One could construct a speculative anthropology for these extraordinary structures–what they mean, and how they function.”

Arthur Danto, still one of the sharpest art critics around, reviews the Lee Bontecou exhibit at MOMA here in The Nation. See also my earlier post on Bontecou here.