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Modern Women: Artist Lee Bontecou

Modern Women Artist Lee Bontecou

Lee Bontecou (born January 15, 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island) is an American sculptor and printmaker and a pioneer figure in the New York art world. She kept her work consistently in a recognizable style, and received broad recognition in the 1960s. Bontecou made abstract sculptures in the 1960s and 1970s and created vacuum-formed plastic fish, plants, and flower forms in the 1970s. Rich, organic shapes and powerful energy appear in her drawings, prints and sculptures. Her work has been shown and collected in many major museums in the United States and in Europe.

Lee Bontecou works with many materials, such as metal, paper and plastic. She also works with unconventional materials and discovers new techniques. In her drawings, she developed a process in the late 1950s of using an oxyacetylene torch to produce a carbon spray from the flame, resulting in an “airbrushed” look and deep saturated blacks that she took to her sculptural work.

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