Dominique Lévy is opening its new third floor project space, called The Back Room, with an inaugural exhibition of Senga Nengudi’s 1970s-era sculptures and performance photographs, the Upper East Side gallery announced today. The show will open on September 10 and run through October 24.
In the 1970s, Nengudi became a member of a growing community of Los Angeles–based black artists involved in global political movements such as Black Power and feminism, using an assemblage technique to create sculptures, performances, videos, and installations that addressed identity politics. A former dancer, Nengudi began to design performances that merged assemblage with modern dance, creating a choreographed relationship between the movements of her body and those of sculptures constructed out of nylon mesh pantyhose. Over the course of her career, Nengudi has collaborated on these sculpture performances with Maren Hassinger, Ulysses Jenkins, Noah Purifoy, Franklin Parker, Houston Conwill, David Hammons, Betye Saar, and Barbara McCullough.
Dominique Lévy will present Nengudi’s more recent pantyhose and sand sculptures, created in response to her Répondez s’il vous plaît (RSVP) (1975–77), a post-minimalist, second-wave feminist series of nylon works. The gallery will also show performance stills of Nengudi’s Performance Piece (1978), Freeway Fets (1978), and Masked Taping (1978–79), influenced by Nigerian Gelede performances, avant-garde classical Japanese kabuki, and international Fluxus Happenings.