One of the most widely recognized female artists of the 1960s, Lee Bontecou (born in 1931 in Providence, Rhode Island) creates welded wall reliefs, hanging sculptures, and prints that reflect her interest in natural and man-made forms. Through such works, Bontecou has sought to capture “as much of life as possible—no barriers—no boundaries—all freedom in every sense.” Bontecou studied art the Art Students League in New York City from 1952 to 1955. She also spent the summer of 1954 at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine, where she learned to weld. She received a Fulbright scholarship to study in Rome in 1957–58. In 1959 she had her first solo exhibition, and the next year she first exhibited at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City. In 1964 Bontecou received an important commission to create a large wall relief for the New York State Theater at Lincoln Center, titled 1964. In 2003, she received a large-scale retrospective of her work co-organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.