Exhibitions: The Body: Concealing and Revealing
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Beverly Semmes has been filling art museums and galleries with monumental dress installations since the early 1990s. Dramatic pools of chiffon, velvet, taffeta, lace, and lamé overtake entire rooms, spilling off the walls from which they hang, attached by threads and tiny t-pins. These massive dresses are empty and unwearable; their surrealistic distortion of scale compels viewers to consider notions of feminine presence and empowerment, and the social relationships that shape both. The Addison’s dress, made early in Semmes’s career, is smaller than those that followed it but is no less commanding a presence. Its cascading layers of blue rubberized fabric stubbornly refuse to fit any physical body. Perhaps they are a metaphor for a phantasmal one.
This object was included in the following exhibitions:New Work: Recent Additions to the Collection, Addison Gallery of American Art, 4/21/2001 - 7/31/2001
The Body: Concealing and Revealing, Addison Gallery of American Art, 9/1/2018 - 3/31/2019
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