Exhibitions: Unfolding Tales: Selections from the Contemporary Collection

Senga Nengudi: Inside/Outside

At the forefront of the African American avant-garde in Los Angeles and New York in the 1960s and 1970s, Senga Nengudi was first recognized for her anthropomorphic nylon mesh sculptures such as Inside/Outside. The bulbous stockings twist and strain under the weight of the sand they contain, calling to mind both the rhythm of a swinging pendulum and exposed internal organs. The work also conjures the image of a traditional African headdress, telling of Nengudi’s interest in African philosophy and ritual. The artist’s background as a dancer and choreographer informs her practice, and she has often utilized works such as Inside/Outside in her own performances, testing the limit of her constructions by wearing and stretching the nylons to the brink of bursting.