McCormick Hall (Building W4)
Pepper’s early sculptures were in wood, Cor-Ten steel, and stainless steel. The latter works are highly polished to achieve a reflective surface capable of both including the viewer in the sculpture’s space and lending an illusory sense of weightlessness to the massive structures. Because these monumental forms are streamlined, factory-fabricated, and often modeled on geometric solids, Pepper’s early work was sometimes critically associated with the Minimalist movement. Such a link rested on a misperception of her intentions. Contrary to the Minimalist agenda of providing unambiguous and impersonal visual information, Pepper’s sculptures have always been rife with sexual, spiritual, and emotional connotations.
Trinity is composed of three layers of pyramidal forms that hug both the ground and each other. The lapping planes variously suggest protection, subtle aggression, stability, and flow. Its earlier title, Dunes I, may have alluded to the low, shifting planar patterns of sand. Pepper’s aesthetic language is entirely abstract yet nonetheless constitutes an intense and deft exploration of the interior life of feeling.
Cor-ten steel, rust skin
36 in. x 276 in. x 288 in. (91.44 cm x 701.04 cm x 731.52 cm)
Gift of the Sonnabend Foundation