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Lee Bontecou

A Retrospective

MCA Chicago
Hard- and softcover



Artist Lee Bontecou (b. 1931) became widely known in the 1960s and 1970s for her welded steel sculptures and plastic and epoxy molded assemblages—powerful constructions that evoked natural phenomena and organic biological life as well as machines and instruments of war.

This critically acclaimed book reevaluates the career of this highly influential artist and focuses not only upon the impact of her early work but also on the import she has exerted on a generation of younger artists. Featuring some 50 sculptures and more than 100 drawings from the late 1950s to 2003, the book presents four essays that reposition Bontecou’s work within the history of recent art, examine its shifting critical reception, discuss the artistic context in which her work was made, and analyze how science underpinned some of her earliest explorations.

Table of Contents

10 Sponsor's Statement
Artist's Statement
13 Introduction and Acknowledgments
16 Plates
168 All Freedom in Every Sense by Elizabeth A. T. Smith
182 Seek and Hide by Robert Storr
194 Lee Bontecou by Donald Judd
200 Lee Bontecou’s Worldscapes by Mona Hadler
212 Inner and Outer Space: Bontecou’s Sculpture through Drawing
224 List of Plates
233 Exhibition History
235 Selected Bibliography
238 Reproduction Credits
240 Lenders to the Exhibition