Moline Markers Series

Damian Marker I, 1981
Moline Coupled Column, 1981
Fundamental Presence, 1981
Beverly Pepper (b. 1922)

Shifting in form as they rise from the ground, each column projects a unique personality, enhanced by the lines, slits, and pits that the artist applied to the iron, a malleable metal, to add texture and depth to its surface.

In 1981, Beverly Pepper began creating works composed of grouped columns that emphasized precise, machine-tooled fabrication. Damian Marker I, Fundamental Presence, and Moline Coupled Column (all 1981) derive from the Moline Markers series, a set of thirteen sculptures made by Pepper in a John Deere foundry in Moline, Illinois. Pepper has said that she wished “to make an object that has a powerful presence, but is at the same time inwardly turned, seeming capable of intense self-absorption.”

Pepper was born in 1922 in Brooklyn, New York, and was educated at the Pratt Institute and the Arts Students League. She later studied in Paris with Fernand Léger and André Lhote, and moved in 1951 to Rome, where she made sculptures of painted and carved wood, as well as clay and bronze. A visit to Angkor Wat in 1960 furthered her fascination with the emotive power of sculpture. In 1961, encouraged by sculptor David Smith, she began to weld.

Beverly Pepper (b. 1922)
Damian Marker I, 1981
Moline Coupled Column, 1981
Fundamental Presence, 1981
Cast iron
Gift of Thomas and Shirley Ross Davis
1996.165.1–3

Listen to Emma Acker, Assistant Curator of American Art, provide her perspective on Beverly Pepper’s Damian Marker I, Moline Coupled Column, and Fundamental Presence.

 
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