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LEE BONTECOU Silkscreen.
Screenprint on muslin mounted on illustration board, 1968. 355x330 mm; 14x13 inches, full margins. Signed and numbered 59/200 in pencil, lower margin. Published by Tanglewood Press, New York. From Ten from Leo Castelli. A very good impression.
Bontecou (born 1931), an American sculptor and printmaker, grew up in Providence, Rhode Island. She had an early exposure to construction and assembly as her parents both worked in war implements manufacturing. From a young age, Bontecou was interested in drawing and sculpture. She studied at the Art Students League from 1952 to 1955, with artists such as George Grosz and William Zorach. Bontecou initially pursued academic painting before venturing to the League's sculpture department, out of curiosity one day, and never looked back. She spent two years in Rome in the late 1950s on a Fulbright Scholarship, where she delved deeper into sculpture and began welding. She also developed a novel technique using an acetylene torch to create large drawings made of soot, which she called "worldscapes."
On her return to New York, Bontecou began creating mounted abstract wall sculptures, for which she gained acclaim. Leo Castelli organized her first solo exhibition at his gallery in 1960, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, bought one of her works the following year. The art critic and philosopher Arthur Danto described Bontecou's work as lying "at the intersection of magnified insects, battle masks, and armored chariots." Her sculptures, for which she is best known, especially those of the 1960s, impart an organic and mechanistic sensibility that conjure fear and terror of the unknown and the inexpressible. Field 12.