Winner of the 2005-2006 Anonymous Was A Woman Award and the 2005-2006 Louis Tiffany Foundation Biennial Competition Award, Senga Nengudi recently completed an artist residency at the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia. The resulting solo exhibit Warp Trance was hosted the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
Nengudi's African/African-American heritage insists on responding to the moment, making due with what is at hand and to move through survival to a thriving status with the skills of improvisation and prodding perseverance. Being Black is about staying on your toes and sometimes holding things together by a wing and a prayer. Her exposure to Japanese Culture and ways of doing are still evident in her work as well.
There has been renewed interest in her late '70s "Panty Hose Pieces." In September 2003, Nengudi exhibited in a solo show at Thomas Erben Gallery, "Repondez S'il Vous Plait" - "The Panty Hose Pieces 1975-77". These seminal pieces first exhibited at Linda Goode-Bryant's legendary Just Above Midtown Gallery in the late '70s demonstrate the toll life may take on the body and the psyche.
Various pieces from this series have gotten a round of exposure in both international and national venues such as the 54th Carnegie International 2004-5 and the 2004 exhibit "Non Toccare La Donna Bianca" at the Fondiazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy as well as "WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution" exhibited at the Los Angeles MOCA and other venues which included P.S.1 in 2008.
In "Color Lines" Nengudi stretches her ephemeral leanings to sound in air. "Mouth to Mouth" is essentially a collaborative project imitated by the late artist/priest Charles Abramson and completed by Nengudi. First aired on select NPR stations in 1989, it is a whimsical yet completely serious commentary on how it feels to be a part of a tribe -hence the subtitle Doublethink-Bulemia. Not to be confused with the eating disorder, Bulemia IS a state, a state of being.
Born in Chicago, bred in Los Angeles and living in the '70s in New York City with a year of foreign study in Tokyo, Japan, Nengudi presently resides in Colorado.