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Lynda Benglis, Contraband, 1969. Pigmented latex, 3 × 116 1/4 × 398 1/4 in. (7.6 × 295.3 × 1011.6 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Painting and Sculpture Committee and partial gift of John Cheim and Howard Read  2008.14
Art © Lynda Benglis / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Contraband could be either a painting or a sculpture, or even both. A painting is usually hung on the wall, but this work is displayed on the floor and you can walk all the way around it, like a sculpture. It is made of a liquid rubber material called latex mixed with pigment in neon colors.

Benglis named this work Contraband after a bayou, a slow-moving body of water near her childhood home in Louisiana. She has said that the artwork reminded her of toxic oil slicks on the water.


In this video, the artist Lynda Benglis talks about the clothes she likes to wear when she paints, what she wanted to be when she was a kid, and her artistic process.

Lynda Benglis talks about the process of creating Contraband by pouring colorful rubber latex on the floor of her studio. Download