For almost fifty years, Senga Nengudi (b. 1943, USA) has shaped an œuvre that inhabits a specific and unique place between sculpture, dance and performance. Her iconic R.S.V.P sculptures – performative objects made from pantyhose and materials such as sand and stone – have been acquired by important American museums. The publication accompanies the first solo exhibition of Nengudi in Germany at the Lenbachhaus, Munich.
Thanks to newly researched material that lay fallow until now, the publication will bring to light an astonishing early work by an artist who has consistently striven to expand the definition of what sculpture can be. Among the bodies of work presented in the book are the Water Compositions (1969–70), interactive vinyl and water sculptures that Nengudi understood as an organic rebuttal to the reign of Minimalism; early fabric works that Nengudi strung up in the back alleys of Harlem, New York; the suggestive R.S.V.P. sculptures (1976–today), some of which were activated in choreographed performances. With newly commissioned essays by Kellie Jones (Columbia University), Catherine Wood (Tate Modern), and Malik Gaines (NYU).