Join us for a Collection Highlight conversation with alumna and collection artist Beverly Semmes (BFA 82) and curator and Samsøñ founder and owner, Camilo Alvarez as they discuss Semmes’ House Dress, 1990, now on view as part of Making Marks, Making Change: Feminisms at Tufts.
Beverly Semmes is a sculptor, photographer, videographer, and textile and performance artist whose work is steeped in feminist theory and practice. In the 1990s she became quickly known for her oversized dress sculptures, Tufts’ House Dress among them, that were both hilarious and terrifying. Her work since has expanded into ceramics, glass, and collaborative work with performers and fashion designers. Her recent project, The Feminist Responsibility Project (FRP) explores desire, meaning, and visual pleasure through drawn- and painted-over images of women from pornographic magazines. Born in Washington, D.C., Semmes received a BA in art history and a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and Tufts University, and an MFA from Yale University School of Art.
Semmes’ work has been exhibited at the Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Museum of Modern Art PS1, New York City; Camden Art Centre, London; and the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio; among others. Her work is included in numerous museum collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; the Denver Art Museum; and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. She has been featured in The New York Times, ARTNews, The New Yorker, Art in America, and many other publications.
Camilo Alvarez is the Owner, Director and Preparator at Samsøñ, formerly Samson Projects, founded in 2004. Alvarez has given solo exhibitions to William Pope.L (2010), Rebecca Morris (2006), Kader Attia (2008), and Beverly Semmes (2017), among many.