Lee Bontecou: Defying Categories

Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1961, Welded steel, canvas, wire, and rope, 72 5/8 × 66
Lee Bontecou, Untitled, 1961, Welded steel, canvas, wire, and rope, 72 5/8 × 66 × 25 7/16 inches (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York)

A blog post considering the enduring individuality of Lee Bontecou.

"It is not all about brute sentiments in Lee Bontecou’s work in the 60s. Her assemblage pieces are never too mechanic to take on the look of manufactured goods. These are hand-crafted objects recalling structures that can be found both in the natural and industrial world. These are not Jasper Johns’ painted bronze cans or Robert Rauschenberg’s combines either. This is not to say that Bontecou’s work is comparatively better or worse. But what if we talked about Lee Bontecou in the way that we talked about Johns and Rauschenberg? What if we switched the order of hierarchies in favor of Lee Bontecou or Eva Hesse? Would younger generations of artists be looking at popular culture to the same extent? Are there other ways of making art than constantly referencing and manipulating icons of art history? What about the darker aspects of life? How do they fit in? "