Farewell to Beverly Pepper: Minimalist Sculptor, Maximalist Personality
Beverly Pepper, born Beverly Stoll in Brooklyn in 1922, has died on the 5th of February in Todi, where she lived since 1972. Beverly passed a long time of her life in Italy, first in Rome then in Umbria, though she began as a painter, Pepper is known for her large scale steel sculptures; she showed her first steel sculpture in 1962 at Spoleto Festival in Umbria, ten years later in 1972 she participates to the Venice Art Biennale and definitively moves in Todi until the end of her days. In Todi she found a big space to work, this allowed her to develop her sculptural language for more than 60 years.
Beverly Pepper talked about her art in a conversation with Judith Hoos Fox, and says: “Everything in the world slowly converts into iron. It is everywhere, even in a teardrop. Perhaps an awareness of this final, imperishable destiny plays a role in my feeling for its power and potential. I admire the sheer resistance within iron, its stubbornness, even as it participates in slow processes of corrosion or patination. And it’s always gripping to work in a material that has been such a crucial part of human culture from the literal Iron Age to the great periods of industrial construction and beyond”
Pepper’s work is owned by institutions including New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, Paris’s Centre George Pompidou, and the Dallas Museum of Art, and she has been the subject of solo shows at the Brooklyn Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Ara Pacis Museum in Rome. Nevertheless, Pepper isn’t as widely known as some of her peers, including Serra, David Smith, or Louise Bourgeois.
In Todi she leaves a beautiful heritage the “Parco di Beverly Pepper”, a park with sculptors form her collection donated to the city last year in September.