More about Contraband


In 1969, Lynda began to experiment with different kinds of weird materials.

Think glitter, gold-leaf, lead and really big vats of latex. For Contraband she ordered 500 pounds of DayGlo paint and mixed it with her latex. She would either pour the latex-paint mix on waxed linoleum or directly on the studio floor, letting it flow wherever it wanted to go. The size of the artwork would be determined by the space. With Contraband the space was her new, bigger studio, so it stretched to 40 feet! The combination of paint with another material like latex makes her pouring some sort of 3D painting, which is pretty inventive. No one had ever done anything like this before! This lady single handedly blurred the line between painting and sculpture.

Contraband was named after a bayou near the place where Lynda grew up as a child in Louisiana. Apparently the water wasn't that fresh and the piece reminded her of all the toxic oil slicks in the marsh.

Lynda made Contraband specially for an exhibition at the Whitney, “The Whitney Museum’s 1969 Anti-Illusion: procedures/materials." Sounds like the perfect exhibition for Lynda’s innovative works right? But nope, eventually her work was not welcome. Which is strange since they personally invited her! The thing was, her piece would have been installed a tad too close to to a “splash piece” by Richard Serra (and more paintings by other popular white men.) Co-curator Marcia Tucker was afraid Lynda’s piece would distract from the Serra work. They offered to install the piece on a ramp near the museum’s entrance. Ugh, yeah right. Obviously Lynda withdrew from the show.