Lee Bontecou

Selected Biography

1931Born in Providence, RI on January 15. Raised in New York and Nova Scotia
1954Spent summer at the Skowhegan School, Skowhegan, ME
1952–55Studied at the Art Students League, New York, NY with William Zorach (1887–1966), as well as Morris Kantor (1896–1974) and Robert Brackman (1898–1980)
1954–55Merit Scholarship, Art Students League, New York, NY
1955–56Ball Grant, Art Students League, New York, NY
1956Fulbright Scholarship, Rome, Italy
1956–57Lived in Rome, Italy on a Fulbright Fellowship
1958Returned to New York, NY and moved into a lower East Side loft on Avenue C
1959Louis Comfort Tiffany Award
1960Formed a personal acquaintanceship with Joseph Cornell
1960Mademoiselle Woman of the Year
1962Moved to a studio on Wooster Street, New York, NY
19632nd Prize, 28th Biennial of American Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
1964New York State Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, NY
1965Began living with her husband, William Giles, on Greene Street, but continued to work at her Wooster Street studio
1966First Prize, National Institute of Arts and Letters
1970Joined the faculty of Brooklyn College, City University of New York, New York, NY
1991Retired from teaching
2003Francis J. Greenburger Award
2004Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
2004Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, City University of New York, New York, NY
2004The Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture
2005Award for best monographic exhibition in a national museum, Awarded to Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective (Co-organized with the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, 2003), International Association of Art Critics, Paris, France
2007Member, American Academy of Arts & Sciences, Cambridge, MA
Lee Bontecou currently lives and works in Pennsylvania.

 

Selected Exhibitions

2014Drawn Worlds, a Retrospective of Drawings by Lee Bontecou, The Menil Collection, Houston, TX, (upcoming, January 25 – May 18, 2014)
2011-12Recent Works: Sculpture and Drawing, FreedmanArt, New York, NY (solo)
2011Lee Bontecou: Insights, ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art, Karlsruhe, Germany; Traveling to Kunst Sammlung Nordrhein Westfalen, Dusseldorf, Germany (solo)
2010Lee Bontecou: All Freedom in Every Sense, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY (solo)
American Painting 1959–2009, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
Compass in Hand, Selection from the Contemporary Drawing Collection of the Judith Rothschild Foundation, Institut Valencià d’Art Modern, Valencia, Spain
Form in Translation: Sculptors Making Prints and Drawings, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO
Wall to Wall, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Collecting Biennials, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

2009Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940–1976, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
2008-09Selections from the collection of Helga and Walther Lauffs, Zwirner & Wirth, New York, NY
2008In Their Own Words, Friedman Benda Gallery, New York, NY
Great Women Artists: Feminist Art From The Permanent Collection, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY
Visions: Selections from the James T. Dyke Collection of Contemporary Drawings,
Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
Artists in Depth: Works from the MCA Collection, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
Action/Abstraction, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis, MO
Action/Abstraction: Pollock, de Kooning, and American Art, 1940–76,The Jewish Museum of New York, New York, NY

2007-08Modern Times: Alumni Collect, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME
2007Lee Bontecou: Vacuum-formed Sculptures and Related Drawings, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY (solo)
Black & White and a little red…, David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, MI
The third mind – Carte blanche a Ugo Rondinone, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France
What Is Painting? – Contemporary Art from the Collection, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Shapes of Space, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
The Wandering Eye – Works on Paper from the 60s and 70s, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY

2006Twice Drawn, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Lee Bontecou: Fifth Stone Sixth Stone, Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY (solo)

2005Organic Abstraction: Homage to Ruth Duckworth at 85, Garth Clark Gallery, New York, NY
2-D from 3-D: Contemporary and Historical Drawings by Sculptors, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR
Part Object, Part Sculpture, Curated by Helen Molesworth, Wexner Center for the Arts, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Lee Bontecou: Selected Works, Gallery Salute to the 130th Anniversary of the Art Students League of New York, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY (solo)

2004Lee Bontecou: Drawings 1958–1999, Knoedler & Company, New York, NY (solo)
The Heroic Century: The Museum of Modern Art Masterpieces, 200
Paintings and Sculptures, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Exhibition of Work by Newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honors and Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
54th Carnegie International 2004–5, Including a Monographic Exhibition of works by Lee Bontecou, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA

2003-04Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective, Curated by Elizabeth A.T. Smith with Ann Philbin, Co-organized with the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; The Museum of Modern Art, Queens, NY (solo)
2003Crisis Response, Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Drawing Modern: Works from the Agnes Gund Collection, The Cleveland Museum of Art, OH
Black White, Danese, New York City, NY

2002Crisis Response, The RISD Museum, University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI
True Grit: Seven Female Visionaries Before Feminism, Mills College Art Gallery, Oakland, CA
Vertigo, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY

2001Sculpture Center, Long Island City, New York, NY
Lee Bontecou: Drawings, 1962–1998, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Winter Group Exhibition, Joseph Rickards Gallery, New York, NY
About Objects, The RISD Museum, University of Rhode Island, Providence, RI

2000Welded Sculpture of the Twentieth Century, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York, NY
Sculpture by Richard Artschwager, Lee Bontecou, John Chamberlain, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1998-2000Twentieth Century American Drawings From the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR; Traveled to Sunrise Museums, Charleston, WV; Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, FL; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, IN; Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN; Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL; Art Museum of Southeast Texas, Beaumont, TX; Art Museum of South Texas, Corpus Christi, TX; Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, Kalamazoo, MI
1999Drawing from the 60s & 70s: Joe Baer, Lee Bontecou, Eva Hesse, and Agnes Martin, Curt Marcus Gallery, New York, New York, NY
The American Century: Art and Culture 1900–2000, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Lee Bontecou, 1958–1972, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, New York, NY (solo)

1996Fiber and Form: The Woman’s Legacy: Hannelore Baron, Lee Bontecou, Nancy Grossman, Eve Peri, Anne Ryan, Betye Saar, Lenore Tawney, Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY
From a Curator’s Point of View: Making Selections and Forging Connections – Bontecou, Hesse, Judd, LeWitt, Marden, Morris, Smithson, Weatherspoon Arts Gallery, University of North Carolina at Greenboro, Greenboro, NC
Kingdom of Flora, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
50/50: Fifty Artists from Fifty Years of Skowhegan (Anniversary Exhibition & Raffle), PaceWildenstein Gallery, New York, NY
Reliefs 1959-’60, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands

1995Lee Bontecou: Early Drawings, Daniel Weinberg Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
Lee Bontecou: Reliefs, 1959–60, Bonnefanten Museum, Maastricht, The Netherlands (solo)

1994Fine Lines, Anthony Slayter-Ralph, Santa Barbara, CA
Printmaking in America: Collaborative Presses and Prints, 1960–1990, The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ; The Mary Leigh Block Gallery, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
Animal Farm, James Corcoran Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Bontecou, Higgins, Moskowitz – Work From the 1960s, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Selections from the Collection, Jay Gorney Modern Art, New York, NY; Akron Art Museum, Akron, OH

1993–94Lee Bontecou: Sculpture and Drawings of the 1960s, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Traveled to Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO (solo)
1993The Second Dimension: Twentieth Century Sculptors’ Drawings, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Sculpture and Drawings of the 1960’s, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA
Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

1991Smith Collects Contemporary, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
1987 Leo Castelli and His Artists: 30 Years of Promoting Contemporary Art, Centro Cultural Arts Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico
Alternative Supports: Contemporary Sculpture on the Wall, Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI
20th Century Art in the Museum Collections; Direction and Diversity, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX

1986The Sculptural Membrane, Sculpture Center, New York, NY
Definitive Statements: American Art 1964–66, Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI

1984–85The Third Dimension, Whitney Museum, New York, NY; Traveled to Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA
1984Socialites and Satellites, Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, NY
The Third Dimension, Whitney Museum, New York, NY; Traveled to Fort Worth Art Museum, Fort Worth, TX; Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH; Newport Harbor Art Museum, Newport Beach, CA
Dorthy C. Miller: With an Eye to American Art, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA

1983Nocturne, Seigel Contemporary Art, New York, NY
1982Castelli and His Artists: Twenty-Five Years, La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, CA; Traveled to Aspen Center for the Visual Arts, Aspen, CO; Portland Center for the Visual Arts, Portland, OR; Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Austin, TX
The Americans: Collage 1950–82, Contemporary Art Museum, Austin, TX
Universal Limited Art Editions: A Tribute to Tatyana Grosman, Whitney Museum of American Art, Downtown at Federal Reserve Plaza, New York, NY
Women’s Art: Miles Apart, Aaron Berman Gallery, New York, NY; Traveled to Valencia Community College, Orlando, FL
Universal Limited Art Editions: A Tribute to Tatyana Grosman, Whitney Museum of American Art, Downtown at Federal Reserve Plaza, New York, NY

1981Selections from Castelli, Neil G. Ovsey Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The New Dimensions in Drawing, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT
Heresies, ULAE: Works by Lee Bontecou, Jim Dine, Jasper Johns, Alexander Liberman, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, and Andre Voznesenski, The Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University, New York, NY

1980Ed Ruscha, Billy Bengston, Edward Kienholz, Lee Bontecou, Ed Moses, Craig Kauffman – Paintings, Asher/Faure Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Eclectic Mood in Black, Aaron Berman Gallery, New York, NY
New York Collection Portfolio, Tyler Museum of Art, TX
Reliefs, Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland
From Reinhardt to Christo, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, OH
Drawings to Benefit the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art, Inc., Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY

1978Collection: American Sculpture, Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
1977The Liberation: 14 American Artists (organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC), American House, Berlin, Germany; Traveled to American Cultural Center, Budapest, Hungary; USIS Library Gallery, Rome, Italy; Ankara Bi-National Center Art Gallery, Ankara, Turkey
Lee Bontecou in Retrospect, Hawthorne Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
Lee Bontecou in Retrospect: Drawings and Sculptures, Hathorn Gallery,
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY (solo)

1976Halper Gallery, Palm Beach, FL (solo)
American Artists ‘76: A Celebration, Marion Koogler McKnay Art Institute, San Antonio, TX
Contemporary American Prints, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Halper Gallery, Palm Beach, FL

1975Prints and Drawings by Lee Bontecou, Davison Art Center, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (solo)
Thirty Artists in America, Part, Michael Walls Gallery, New York, NY

1974Drawings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
In Three Dimensions, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY

1973Say it With Flowers, The Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
American Drawing: 1970–1973, Yale University Art Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, CT

1972Drawings: Barry, Bontecou, Daphnis, Flavin, Huebler, Johns, Judd, Kosuth, Lichtenstein, Morris, Nauman, Owen, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Ruscha Serra, Sonnier, Stella, Twombly, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Lee Bontecou, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (solo)

1971Lee Bontecou: Sculpture, Drawings & Lithographs, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Art on Paper, Weatherspoon Gallery, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC

1970L’Art Vivant Americain, Foundation Maeght, Saint Paul-de-Vence, France
Pittsburgh International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, Germany
The Drawing Society National Exhibition, American Federation of the Arts, New York, NY

1969An American Report on the Sixties, Denver Art Museum, CO
Contemporary Drawing Show, Fort Worth Art Center, Fort Worth, TX
Ars ’69Helsinki, Ateneum, Helsinki, Finland

1968Sculpture Annual, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Lee Bontecou: skupturen, tekeningen, lithos, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands (solo)
Lee Bontecou, Städtisches Museum Schloß Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany (solo)
Stadtisches Museum, Schloss Morsbroich, Leverkusen, Germany
Kunstverein Giannozzo, Berlin, Germany
Sculpture Annual, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1967Sculpture: A Generation of Innovation, Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Ten Years, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY

1966Flint Invitational, Flint Institute of the Arts, Flint, MI
Sculpture Annual, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Group Show, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
National Institute of Arts and Letters, New York, NY
The Jewish Museum, New York, New York:Harry N. Abrams Family Collection
Drawings, University of Texas, Austin, TX
Sculpture Annual, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Lee Bontecou, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY (solo)

1965Lee Bontecou, 1965, Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, France (solo)
1964The Whitney Annual, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
New American Sculpture, Pasadena Art Museum, CA
Group Show, The New School, New YorkLeo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Recent American Sculpture, The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
The Whitney Annual, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
New York State Theater, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York, NY
Painting and Sculpture of a Decade: 1959–1964, Tate Gallery, London, UK
International Prize, Instituto Torcuato di Tella, Buenos Aires, Argentina
International Drawing Show, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany
100 American Drawings, Byron Gallery, New York, NY
The Artists’ Reality, Morris International Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1963Americans 1963, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Aspetti dell’Arte Contemporanea, L’Aguilla, Italy
Donner à Voir, Galerie Creuze, Paris, France
28th Biennial Exhibition, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC
Whitney Annual Exhibition – Sculpture and Drawing, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Drawings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
1er Salon International de Galeries Pilotes, Musée Cantonal Des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland
Mixed Media and Pop Art, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York, NY
The South County State Bank, Saint Louis, MO
Americans, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Dealer’s Choice, (Arman, Bontecou, Dine, Kienholz, Klein, Lichtenstein, Oldenberg, Parker, Rauschenberg, Raysse, Reinhardt, Rivers, Rosenquist, Tinguely), Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Whitney Annual Exhibition – Sculpture and Drawing, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Americans, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY

1962Lee Bontecou, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
65th Annual American Exhibition, The Art Institute of Chicago, IL
Art Since 1950, The Seattle World’s Fair, Seattle, WA
Galerie Ileana Sonnabend, Paris, France:Brandeis Universtiy, Waltham, MA
Continuity and Change, The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT
Group Show, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Drawings, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY

1961Six Sculptors, The Dwan Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
The Pittsburgh International Exhibition, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh, PA
Whitney Annual Exhibition – Sculpture and Drawings, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Six Sculptors, (Peter Agostini, Lee Bontecou, Cesar, John Chamberlain, Edward Higgins, Louise Nevelson), The Dwan Gallery, New York, NY
Le Nouveau Realisme, Galerie Rive Droite, Paris, France
VI São Paulo Bienal, The São Paulo Museum of Modern Art, Brazil
New York Scene, New London Gallery (Marlborough Fine Arts Limited), London, UK
Sculpture and Relief, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Society for Contemporary American Art, Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL
The Art of Assemblage, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Group Show, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY
Whitney Annual Exhibition – Sculpture and Drawings, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

1960Lee Bontecou: Constructions, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
New Media—New Forms I and II, Martha Jackson Gallery, New York, NY
Women of American Art, World House Galleries, New York, NY
Recent Acquisitions, 1960–61, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Sculpture and Drawings, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Summary 1959–1960, Leo Castelli Gallery, New York, NY

1959Contemporary American Sculpture, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; Traveled to Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA; Springfield Museum of Art, Springfield, OH
Gallery G, New York, NY

1958Festival of Two Worlds, Spoleto, Italy
1957–58Exhibition of Fulbright Awardees, Schneider Gallery, Rome, Italy

 

Selected Public Collections

Akron Art Institute, Ohio
Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York
Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
David Winton Bell Art Gallery, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island
Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Art Institute of Chicago, Illinois
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
De Paul University Museum, Chicago, Illinois
Des Moines Art Center, Iowa
Elvehjem Art Center, Madison, Wisconsin
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, California
Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France
Maxine & Stuart Frankel Foundation for Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
The Emanuel Hoffmann Collection, Kunstmseum Basel, Switzerland
Honolulu Academy of Arts, Hawaii
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California
The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, Illinois
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York
The New York State Theater, Lincoln Center, New York
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Philadelphia
Phoenix Art Museum, Arizona
Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
San Diego Museum of Art, California
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Tate, London, England
The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Weatherspooon Art Gallery, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
The Andrew Dickson White Museum of Art, Ithaca, New York
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut