Senga Nengudi is an artist best known for her abstract sculpture and performance art. Nengudi was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1943 and moved to Los Angeles, California, at a young age. She attended California State University, Los Angeles for both her undergraduate and master's work, as well as completed a program at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan. Nengudi was active in the avant-garde Black art scenes in Los Angeles and New York during the 1960s and 1970s, and was a member of the Studio Z Collective. She is best known for her R.S.V.P. (Répondez s'il vous plaît) Series featuring pantyhose, which she began in 1975. Nengudi is the recipient of several awards and honors, including an election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2020. In this interview, Nengudi discusses her family and childhood in both Chicago and Los Angeles; early exposure to art and interest in dance; arts education at California State University, Los Angeles, including professors and curriculum; attending Waseda University and interest in Japanese art and culture; artistic influences, including dancer Katherine Dunham; collaboration with other artists such as Houston Conwill, David Hammons, Maren Hassinger, and Ulysses Jenkins; work with Studio Z Collective and Othervisions Studios, as well as the CETA (Comprehensive Employment Training Act) Program through Brockman Gallery; Black art scene in Los Angeles and New York in the 1960s and 1970s, including artists and galleries; marriage and family; moving to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1990 and work promoting the arts, including establishing the community gallery ARTSpace; memorable pieces and performances, including Freeway Fets, R.S.V.P., and Bulemia; honors and awards; and reflections on past projects and overall artistic career.




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