Friday, January 15, 2016

Arty Farty Friday ~ Lee Bontecou

Lee Bontecou, born 15 January 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island. Another artist of whom I've been oblivious.

Snips from an article HERE
Lee Bontecou grew up in Providence, Rhode Island, where, during World War II, her mother worked in a factory wiring submarine parts. This memory, together with reports she heard about the war and the Holocaust, had a profound effect on Bontecou’s childhood consciousness. As an adult, she continues to be disturbed by world events, and her work often demonstrates a sharp awareness of the horrors of war and social injustice. As a child, Bontecou also developed her life-long love of nature, particularly marine biology, due to the many summers she pent in Nova Scotia, in her mother’s native Canada......

.......Frustration with the demands of the art market led Bontecou to gradually detach herself from the New York art world. However but the often-repeated idea that she became a recluse is misconception. Suspicious of the restraints imposed by scholarly and critical attempts to characterize her work, Bontecou had always remained independent of any single art movement. She continued to work in private, on a series of ceiling-mounted sculptures “constructed with a handmade welded frame and embellished with numerous small porcelain elements all made by hand. These works have an expansive and calming effect. They are both galactic and terrestrial.” These were revealed for the first time in 2003, when a major traveling retrospective of her work was held...

Born 15 January 1931, Providence Rhode Island. Chart set for 12 noon as time of birth isn't known. Moon's position not as shown, though probably would have been in Sagittarius. Rising sign unknown.

A few stand outs for me, relating to her art style:

Her Fire Grand Trine linking Venus (planet of the arts) to Uranus and Mars reflects her dynamic, out of the ordinary style rather well. Her stellium (cluster) of personal planets in Capricorn reflect, in a different way her art style. Her natal Sun loosely conjunct Saturn (Capricorn's ruler) underlines the "hardness" of the sculptural style to which she gravitated (as against the softer flow of paint from brush to canvas).

Those uncomfortable square aspects between Uranus and her Capricorn planets perhaps somehow represent her suspicions "of restraints (Saturn) imposed by scholarly and critical attempts to characterize her work", as mentioned in the snips above, and led to her need to detach herself from the art world for a time.


mike said...

She's certainly been, and will continue to be, affected by the transiting Uranus-Pluto square, with her natal T-square in Aries, Cancer, and Capricorn! Interesting too, that she's having concurrent transiting Neptune & Pluto opposing their natal positions. She was re-discovered and brought out of retirement as Saturn hit her Cancer planets, setting-off the natal T-square, and transiting Pluto in Sagittarius set-off her grand-trine in fire signs. Like you, an unknown to me. The video indicates she hit her peak in the 1960s, which coincides with the great Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo, as they trined her Capricorn planets.

I'm not overly fond of her sculptures, at least the few seen in the video. There is something I like about her "soot work". Thought it was intriguing about her employing the color black and the black-hole effect.

Twilight said...

mike ~ She's passed her Uranus return - that's an achievement many don't manage. :-)
Thanks for your pointers on transits to her chart.

This type of artwork really needs to be seen in real life, I think. Photographs can't possibly do it justice. Even so, I like what I can perceive from the video and photographs of her works on Google Image. She doesn't use colour much, other than naturally occuring ones - and that special black. I rather like the idea of that.
I'd very much like to "properly" see the sculpture shown in the video of the galaxy-like formation.

mike (again) said...

What a strange little interlude we are experiencing...I hope it doesn't last too long, but it could be sign of the times to come. Sun-Mercury conj, both trine Jupiter-N Node; Venus about to square Jupiter-N Node; Mars about to trine Neptune; today's Moon in Aries will conj Uranus setting-off the Pluto square.

Stock prices are way down along with oil...the mud wrestling debate debacle last night. Two outsiders on the rise (Bernie & Trump). I read an essay recently about American and global politics being reminiscent of the Nazi rise, but in reverse, as the industrialized countries have taken a Fascist twist.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Yes, there's a rather odd feeling around just now. Moon position won't last long, that's one plus!

I'm not into stocks and suchlike - closed book to me, but I noticed yesterday that gas prices are very low here -something like $1.52 if I recall correctly, lowest I remember seeing them for years - maybe ever, since I've been here.

Another oddity, for me, is that sterling has tumbled against the US dollar, making the exchange rate - not as beneficial for my pensions, coming from the UK as they do. I like it to stay at least $1.50 to the pound. When I first came over it was in the $1.70 to the pound range, and before I came to the USA it had almost reached $2 to the pound - balmy (and barmy) days!

We watched one or two snatches of the GOP debate last night, during commercial breaks in American Idol. Saw the argument between Trump and Cruz about Cruz's eligibility. Tried to stick with the debate during 2nd half but couldn't stomach more than 10 minutes, and back to Netflix! They still expect Clinton as their opponent - or are they in denial that they could be facing Bernie in November - I wonder!

Bernie is still doing well - the last Dem debate is coming up Sunday night - hidden behind Downton Abbey, and on a night when most are not in political mood. Flippin' Debbie Wasserman-Schultz's best work to aid the Clinton brigade and keep Bernie in the shadows. Ironically her efforts might be backfiring on her though! ;-)