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Beverly Semmes, b.1958

Big Silver1996

Commissioned for an installation at Smith College in 1995, ‘Big Silver’ is attached to a motorised pulley so that it rises and subsides at regular intervals, mimicking the ballet dancer’s pliés at the bar. At its lowest point on the floor it is a formless expanse of glittering fabric, but it reveals its true identity as it is pulled up the wall, the figurative emerges from the abstract and vice versa.

MediumSilver lamé, electric motor, pulleys
DimensionsDimensions variable
Credit LineIMMA Collection: Purchase, 1996
Item NumberIMMA.753
Copyright For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].
Image Caption
Beverly Semmes, Big Silver, 1996, Silver lamé, electric motor, pulleys, Dimensions variable, Collection Irish Museum of Modern Art, Purchase, 1996

For copyright information, please contact the IMMA Collections team: [email protected].

About the Artist

Beverly Semmes b.1958

American sculptor Beverly Semmes occupies a fault-line between fashion and art. Inspired by her work as a set designer for the ballet, Semmes’ monumental fabric creations fuse personal fantasy and social commentary. Incorporating highly sensuous materials, velvet, tulle, organza and lamé, her sculptures explore the power of clothing and its ability to influence, and even define the self. Semmes has been exhibiting internationally since the 1990s. She has had solo exhibitions at the Sculpture Centre, New York; Camden Arts Centre, London; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. ‘Beverly Semmes: New and Recent Sculpture’ was shown at IMMA in 1996.
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