Oral history interview with Lee Bontecou

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.bontec09
Creators:
Bontecou, Lee, 1931-
Ashton, Dore
Dates:
2009 January 10
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
118 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview of Lee Bontecou conducted 2009 January 10, by Dore Ashton, for the Archives of American Art, at Knoedler and Company, in New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Bontecou speaks of her interest in art as a young child and her parents' encouragement and influences; her two years at community college before studying painting then sculpture under William Zorach at the Arts Students League in New York City; her time working, living and studying in Rome though the Fulbright Scholarship; her abstracted figural works in Rome influenced by ancient Greek and Roman sculpture; her exploration in Europe of non-American influences and her admiration of the strong design sense in Italy; returning to the United States and working in the New York City art scene and exhibiting her works at Leo Castelli's Gallery; different techniques including welding and vacuum forming; meeting her husband, Bill Giles, and raising her daughter, Vallie, in New York City; leaving New York City and the Castelli Gallery for Pennsylvania and the ability to experiment in her artwork; teaching at Brooklyn College where she worked with Morris Dorsky and enjoyed a wide range of students; her lack of affiliation with art movements, including Pop Art; her illness and her current work; and her strong belief that an M.F.A. is useless and that young artists have to make themselves. Bontecou also recalls Robert Brackman, Julio Gonzales, Alexander Calder, Richard Bellamy, Gabriel Kahn, Richard Stankewiczs, Tom Doyle, Eve Hesse, Sandra and Jack Beale, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Lee Bontecou (1931- ) is a sculptor and printmaker from New York, New York. Bontecou studied at the Art Students League of New York and taught at Brooklyn College.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.

General
General
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 10 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 42 min.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Pop art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculpture -- Technique Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bellamy, Richard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brackman, Robert, 1898- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Doyle, Tom, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
González, Julio, 1876-1942 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hesse, Eva, 1936-1970 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Stankiewicz, Richard, 1922-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zorach, William, 1887-1966 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Brooklyn College -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leo Castelli Gallery Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/