Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism. Become a Member »

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is the only East Coast venue for a major traveling exhibition devoted to Senga Nengudi, a leading figure of the 1970s Black American avant-garde and a pioneering artist of our time. Marked by her innovative use of everyday materials that range from water and sand to pantyhose and air conditioning units, Nengudi’s work bridges the mediums of sculpture and performance, offering a cross-disciplinary investigation into the personal experiences of the Black female body and the collective impulses of community and ritual.

In one of the most expansive exhibitions of her work to date, Senga Nengudi: Topologies traces the range of the artist’s career and context from the 1970s to today. Featuring more than 70 artworks, this includes Nengudi’s rarely exhibited Water Compositions, her iconic R.S.V.P. sculptures made of sand-filled pantyhose, and documentation of her collaborative and performance-based artworks from her time working between New York and Los Angeles. The exhibition in Philadelphia also focuses in greater depth on her work in recent decades. Shown together, they affirm Nengudi’s pivotal role in redefining the possibilities of sculpture and abstraction, and exemplify the continuing vitality and urgency of her practice. The exhibition will be presented in the museum’s Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries and is accompanied by a major catalogue. On view from May 2 through July 25 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, open Friday through Monday. Book timed tickets in advance; 18 and under are always free.

For more information, visit philamuseum.org.

Senga Nengudi: Topologies is organized by the Lenbachhaus Munich in cooperation with the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The Organizing Curator is Stephanie Weber, Curator for Contemporary Art, Lenbachhaus Munich. In Philadelphia, the exhibition is curated by Amanda Sroka, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, with support from Alexis Assam, Constance E. Clayton Fellow.

The Latest

An Anarchist Illustrator Looks to Radical Histories to Fight Fascism

Anarchist illustrator N.O. Bonzo produces decentralized media in a highly bureaucratic cultural landscape. Their illustrations, murals, and literature emerge in unexpected places, from the streets of Portland, Oregon, to the far ends of Reddit and Twitter, addressing relations of labor and identity in the workplace and on the streets. Growth and care are central themes…