Beverly Pepper

Silent Presence

Beverly Pepper was one of the most important outdoor sculptors of the late twentieth century. Her early works—abstract, geometric, and large-scale—are often discussed in the context of Minimalism. In the 1970s, Pepper explored metaphorical references to architectural and organic forms, and created outdoor sculptures that merged with the landscape. Silent Presence was created in the midst of her 1980s exploration of columnar forms.

While abstract, Silent Presence is also distinctly iconic. Its vertical stance suggests the figure, and establishes a direct relationship of scale and posture with the viewer, while its totemic form carries spiritual associations. These columnar sculptures marked a turning point in Pepper’s career and evolved into a subsequent series of urban altars and ritualistic sculptures.

Main Image: Beverly Pepper, Silent Presence, 1982, cast brass, bronze, 9′ x 7″ x 7″. Gift of Phillip M. Stern.