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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, as seen in the present work, 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’ investigations of these issues have expanded into a variety of media in addition to her work in fabric, including photography and ceramics.
Acquired directly from the artist