Senga Nengudi in her Los Angeles Studio, 1976

Senga Nengudi was born Sue Irons, Chicago. She moved to Los Angeles at the age of seven, and majored in art and minored in dance at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA) in 1966. She returned to CSULA for graduate studies after a year abroad at Waseda University in Tokyo. Soon after her son was born in 1974, Nengudi began working with nylon pantyhose as a material – she found that it mimicked the elasticity of the female body. Read more about Nengudi’s work here.

Image: Senga Nengudi setting up for a performance of R.S.V.P. X in her Los Angeles Studio, 1976, photographer unknown, courtesy of Just Above Midtown Gallery Archive.