Marlborough Chelsea opens exhibition of sculptures by Beverly Pepper

Marlborough Chelsea presents an exhibition of sculptures by the notable American sculptor Beverly Pepper at Marlborough Chelsea, 545 West 25th Street, on April 5, 2012 through May 5, 2012.

Beverly Pepper, Curved Presence, 2012. Corten steel, 98 1/2 x 63 1/4 x 80 3/4 inches© Beverly Pepper, courtesy Marlborough Chelsea, New York.

The exhibition, Curvae in Curvae: New Sculptures by Beverly Pepper, consists of four monumental Core-ten steel sculptures ranging in height from 8 feet to 131⁄2 feet, continuing Pepper’s examination of monumentality, a recurrent theme in her work.

The monumental sculptures plus 6 tabletop and 2 garden scale works are fabricated in COR-TEN steel and then oxidized in Pepper’s characteristic red-brown finish. The new works powerfully demonstrate the artist’s unique ability to create sculptures that seemingly exist both in and outside of historic time. Pepper treats the surface of the works with acidic solutions in order to control the tone and texture of the oxidation process and to achieve a deep, rich surface coloration. In the artist’s beautiful new Rizzoli monograph by the art historian Robert Hobbs, he explains:
Once the sculptures are outside for a certain amount of time, they begin to change. For this reason, she believes steel and iron ultimately demand their own patinas, which assume a life of their own, and this aging plays a major role in how these materials ultimately look when placed outdoors. These metals’ openness to atmospheric conditions is a means for Pepper to attribute a type of life force to her sculptures. In her choice of materials, then, she opts, when possible, for ontological associations.

With the works exhibited Pepper seems to bend and shape space, time and place; she manages to juxtapose the virile strength and sheer weight of the steel with the curvilinear and gravity-defying forms that she creates from it. Pepper says of the works exhibited:
Actually this work coalesces and distills fifty years of evolving concepts and emergence of new sculptures. They seem to possess traits of old friends while also appearing to be foreign and of surprising intensity as in Double Circle, while also reflected in other new works with inside curves and planes that open and peel away from the dominate or shaping curve. Here in the overlapping twisting curves I see the shadow of The Apple Tingling, a sculpture I made in 1964. In the end, I believe the intrinsic value of my effort in art is to be surprised and renewed by the work as it emerges – hopefully – with one’s past and future comingling in the most unexpected and lyrical forms.

Pepper lives and works in Todi, Italy and New York.

Her works can be found in major museums throughout the world including Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; The Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Detroit Institute of Arts, MI; Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome, Italy; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington. DC; The Jewish Museum, New York, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY;Museud’ArtContemporarideBarcelona,Spain;Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; Museum of Modern Art, Sapporo, Japan; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY.

A fully illustrated color catalog with an essay by Robert Hobbs will be available at the time of the exhibition.