Senga Nengudi: Collaboration and Convergence

We would do this glorious exploring.

– Senga Nengudi, 2020

Many of Senga Nengudi’s sculptures and performances are brought to life by collaborators. As participants, activators, witnesses, and documenters of her artwork, they help Nengudi realize the potential of her “thought experiments.” She found kindred spirits as a founding member of Studio Z, a loosely organized group of Black artists in Los Angeles who collaborated and exhibited together in the 1970s. They often gathered outdoors to explore, stage improvised performances, and play out concepts before returning to their own studios to create.

For nearly fifty years, Nengudi has also collaborated with visual artist Maren Hassinger to develop choreographed activations of her R.S.V.P. sculptures. The nylon forms are like willing dance partners who follow along as the dancer manipulates them. Hassinger, who developed a relationship with Nengudi’s works over decades, knows how to listen to what the works are asking her to do. There is a back and forth between dancer and sculpture that also inspires the audience to respond in new ways.

Senga Nengudi: Topologies is organized by the Lenbachhaus Munich, in cooperation with the DAM. Concept and idea by Stephanie Weber, Lenbachhaus. Funding is provided by the donors to the Annual Fund Leadership Campaign, and the residents who support the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District (SCFD). Promotional support is provided by 5280 Magazine and CBS4.