Marlborough is pleased to present Beverly Pepper: Selected Works 1968-2018, a survey exhibition by the celebrated American artist. Conceived as a concise investigation rather than an exhaustive overview of Pepper’s expansive practice, the show focuses on a few distinct bodies of work from the last 50 years: geometric stainless steel sculptures from the late 1960s, steel and bronze Markers and Sentinels from the 1990s, table-top carved stone pieces from 2009, and recent monumental works in Cor-Ten steel.
At 97, and in the seventh decade of a career that has encompassed sculptures ranging in scale from the intimate to massive earthworks and amphitheaters, Pepper has amassed a body of work that is remarkable for its combination of toughness, grace, ambition and intelligence. The sculptures exhibited here provide some insight into these different periods in which, regardless of shifts in materials and surfaces, we see a consistent application of technical facility and innovation wedded to a restless relationship both with and against formalism. The graceful modernist simplicity of the 60s stainless works shifts quickly into the rough-hewn classicism implied by hand-carved raw stone, the quasi-industrial verticality of the spires, and the monumentality of the large Cor-Ten sculptures. These are the strategies of a notably relentless, courageous spirit searching for means and methods to decouple her work from the specificity of period-bound movements. As the Artist has stated, “I intend for sculptures to bridge time, hopefully holding a measure of those eternal qualities that attract us to the world’s great ageless monuments.”
Coinciding with the recent inauguration of the Beverly Pepper Sculpture Park in the artist’s adopted hometown of Todi, Italy, and celebrating her 50-plus years as a Marlborough artist, this exhibition stands as a tribute to her worldwide influence and ongoing significance as a critical proponent of Post-War American sculptural practice.