The sculptures of twentieth-century artist Lee Bontecou challenge the primacy of an art historical master narrative. Although her artwork embraced aspects of Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, and Assemblage, she fully aligned with none of these movements. Difficult to classify, her mixed-media work has led to contested narratives about how to position her within art history. This thesis discusses gendered and canonical reads of her work, as well as her own response to how her narrative has been shaped. This contested ground, which reached a controversial point during her 2003 retrospective, is covered as preparation and justification for reading her later suspended sculptures in a new way: as a rhizome radically open to the play of meaning on multiple plateaus, in accordance with the theory of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari.
I argue that the rhizome metaphor affirms the artist's own stated desire for "all freedom in every sense."
|School:||California State University, Long Beach|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||MAI 50/01M, Masters Abstracts International|
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