Beverly Semmes: Bow

Installation View, 2017

Bow (Blue Curtain), 2016, Tulle, 109 x 32 in. (sleeves 150 in) per unit (6 shown)

Top Handles/Stack, 2015, High fire ceramic and epoxy, 51 1/2 x 20 x 19 in.

Long Neck/Stack, 2015, High fire ceramic and epoxy, 53 x 20 x 18 in.

Pitcher/Stack, 2015, High fire ceramic and epoxy, 53 x 19 x 20 in.

Blue Arms, 2016, Verso of painted inkjet print on photographic paper, 73 3/8 x 45 1/4 in.

Blue Legs, 2016, Verso of painted inkjet print on photographic paper, 76 x 42 1/2 in.

Press Release

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Susan Inglett Gallery opens the season with “Bow,” a room size fabric and ceramic installation by Beverly Semmes. The exhibition will run from 13 September to 21 October 2017 with a reception for the artist Wednesday 13 September from 6 to 8 PM. On Saturday, October 14 at 5 pm, the Gallery will debut the CarWash label, a collaboration between Semmes and fashion designer Jennifer Minniti. CarWash Collective considers the deeper dynamics of fashion and politics as Minniti designs clothing incorporating imagery culled from Semmes FRP (Feminist Responsibility Project) series. The gallery and street level window will become runway for a capsule collection of limited editions. The event is open to the public.

Ethereal blue tulle dresses line the gallery walls shoulder to shoulder. Bent or bowed at the waist, attenuated sleeves sweeping the floor, the forms suggest a deflation of breath and anticipated inhalation. Gently disturbed by passing bodies and the breeze, this corporeal curtain is in a constant state of subtle movement. Three imposing ceramic sculptures occupy the center of the space. Constructed from dozens of smaller pots these strange sentries are armed with multiple handles. Inviting and intimidating, the colossi stand with the dresses, alert to some unseen force or presence. Like the title “Bow,” which can be read as an ornament, a curtsy, or a weapon, these works draw meaning from a range of cultural, social, and political contexts. In this exhibition Semmes deepens her longstanding engagement with feminism and the erotics of materiality, exploring the dynamic relation of body to sculptural form.

In Gallery II, Semmes continues to develop her acclaimed Feminist Responsibility Project with a series of enlarged photos of images torn from the pages of vintage porn magazines. With pen and ink the artist censors and abstracts each image flipping the sheet in a final act of defense. By exposing only the verso, what was once an immediate and explicit image now appears as little more than a stain, an otherworldly presence.

A special presentation of large scale street level light boxes, an extension of Semmes’ FRP series is slated to run through 1 December as part of the Stern Windows Project at NYU located on the Schwartz Plaza of the NYU Stern School of Business. This pedestrian plaza is located on the east side of NYU’s Bobst Library directly off Washington Square South.

Semmes was born in Washington, D.C. and lives and works in New York City. A large scale work from 1993, “Blue Gowns," is on loan from the Rubell Family Collection to “Revival” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. through mid-September 2017. A recent traveling solo exhibition of Semmes work, “FRP,” organized by Ian Berry, Director of the Tang Museum, debuted at the Tang in 2015 and traveled to the Weatherspoon Art Museum and the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College in 2016. Over the course of her career Semmes has had many solo exhibitions, including exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Camden Art Centre, London and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio. Her work is included in numerous museum collections, including the Albright Knox Art Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Denver Art Museum, and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In the spring of 2016 Semmes served as the Arthur L. and Sheila Prensky Island Press Visiting Artist at Washington University in St. Louis. In the spring of 2017 Semmes was Visiting Professor at Cornell University’s College of Art Architecture and Planning Semester in NYC Program. This is the artist’s third solo exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery.

The exhibition will be on view at the gallery located at 522 West 24 Street Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM. For additional information please contact Susan Inglett Gallery at 212 647 9111, fax 212 647 9333 or info@inglettgallery.com.

Join in the conversation with Susan Inglett Gallery and Beverly Semmes on Instagram (@susaninglettgallery), Facebook (@Susan Inglett Gallery), Twitter (@inglettgallery), and via the hashtags #BeverlySemmes and #SusanInglettGallery