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Catalog Data

Created by:
Barbara Chase-Riboud, American and French, born 1939  Search this
Produced by:
Fonderia Bonvicini, Italian, founded 1960  Search this
polished bronze, silk and synthetic silk
79 x 52 x 32 in. (200.7 x 132.1 x 81.3 cm)
Esteemed author and artist Barbara Chase-Riboud is celebrated for her unique abstract sculptures that combine traditional, as well as non-traditional materials, such as bronze, silk, rayon, cotton, and wool. She states, “I decided to use silk like you would use clay, sculpting it … because silk is such a strong material and it’s practically indestructible, like bronze is indestructible.”
Tantra I is part of a tripartite series that invokes the Hindu goddess Shakti, whose various manifestations include creativity, female energy, cosmic consciousness, and power. The term tantra has numerous and complex meanings within Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Within the context of Chase-Riboud’s work, tantra may allude to doctrines associated with rituals, disciplines, meditation, and sexual practices composed as dialogues between Shakti and her male consort, Shiva.
An abstract scuplture consisting of a mass of polished bronze shapes from which are suspended cascading cords of knotted silk.
African American  Search this
Art  Search this
Hinduism  Search this
Sexuality  Search this
Spirituality  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Roger and Caroline Ford
Object number:
Restrictions & Rights:
© Barbara Chase-Riboud
Permission required for use. Proper usage is the responsibility of the user.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Visual Arts
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On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Culture/Fourth Floor, 4 052
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture