Beverly Semmes (American, b. 1952) Beverly Semmes was born in Washington, DC in 1952. She received her BFA from the Boston Museum School and attended the Tufts University Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He received her MFA from Yale School of Art. Beverly Semmes first gained recognition for her monumental dresses and other large-scale clothing sculptures that invoke a powerful feminist perspective.
Beverly Semmes uses the formal qualities of shape, color, pattern, and texture as a means to explore issues related to the body and social relationships. Though the figure is rarely depicted in her work (and when it is, it is generally obscured or fragmented), there is nevertheless a strong allusion to human presence. She is well known for soft sculptures that exaggerate the forms of clothing, particularly dresses-, in order to call attention to the role the fashion industry plays in the construction of female identity. These oversized, distorted garments employ a surrealist aesthetic to question feminine stereotypes and ideals. Semmes’s investigations of these issues have expanded into a variety of media.
Semmes's work is in the permanent collections of many important museums, such as the Albright Knox Art Gallery, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Denver Art Museum, Colorado; and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, California. She has had numerous solo museum exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art , Chicago; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; the Virginia Museum of Art, Richmond; the Whitney Museum Philip Morris Gallery, New York; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio.