Beverly Semmes: Bow

13 Sep 2017 – 21 Oct 2017

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Susan Inglett Gallery opens the season with “Bow,” a room size fabric and ceramic installation by Beverly Semmes.


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 concurrent to the exhibition 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.

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Beverly Semmes


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