Increasing Presence, 2000, stone

Increasing Presence, 2000, stone

Beverly Pepper – Selected Works 1968-2015

If it feels as if it’s been years since you saw work by Beverly Pepper, it probably has. I don’t think she was even included in the Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel “Revolution In the Making” debut show. Not revolutionary enough? Or too far from the madding crowd? Pepper is known for the architectural and environmental scale of much of her work, but what the works exhibited here convey still more powerfully is a an intimate yet multivalent dialogue with form, ideas and materials. She takes her ideas, influences and inspirations from far and wide and gives them ample room to breathe (a physical reality at her Umbrian studio and the steel factories where some of her work is produced). Smith, Brancusi, Serra, and Nevelson all clearly inform and percolate in her work; but Pepper’s work moves us towards an independent philosophical investigation both rudimentary (e.g., incision, inscription, impression, intervention) and environmental – of the way form (and underlying ideas and perceptions), materials, and environment intersect, enfold, interact and evolve in a kind of unified field. But also simply unfold: the works have a cohesive and elegant directness, but we can retrace stages of the conversation, inquiry and movement in the chiseled lines, tented folds or rectilinear interstices, polished reflective (e.g., stainless steel) or rougher, more opaque (stone) surfaces. Pepper’s architectural affinities are manifest here – you can understand why so much of her art is commissioned for large-scale public sitings. But it is this more intimate dialogue that gives the work its real exhilaration and exuberance. 

Kayne Griffin Corcoran
1201 So. La Brea Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90019
Show runs thru March 18, 2017