(AMERICAN, BORN 1922)
Cromlech Glen, 1985–90
earth, sod, sandstone, trees
252 x 1320 x 2288 inches (2/5 of an acre)
Laumeier Sculpture Park Commission, with support from anonymous donors
Beverly Pepper's Cromlech Glen, 1985–90, was inspired by a visit she made to the jungle-engulfed ruins of Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Pepper selected and designed Cromlech Glen to be an integral part of this heavily wooded environment. The steeply angled bowl forms an earthen amphitheater, offering up a gathering place to present poetry readings, musical performances or, alternatively, a peaceful site for meditation. Cromlech Glen’s location within the woods plays on the sights and sounds of the tree canopy, deer, birds and insects, encompassing the ecological attractions that help contribute to the thrill of curiosity and discovery. A sandstone stairway is nestled into the triangulated face, inviting the viewer to climb up and then inside its womb-like center space.
Represented paradoxically as both natural and unnatural, Cromlech Glen embodies both mythological and archaeological associations. Is this an ancient fortification, or a mysterious natural formation? As the earth transforms with the seasons and through the wear and tear of human negotiation, Pepper’s direct collaboration with nature continues as it consistently challenges the presence and form of her sculpture. This co-dependence imparts what the artist calls a “true environment” that can only reveal itself through time and ongoing physical interaction.
Sculpture Interaction Guideline: Walk, But Do Not Climb
Beverly Pepper was born in Brooklyn in 1922 and began her career as an artist in an ad agency. She studied art and industrial design at Pratt Institute. Pepper is known for her welded steel sculptures in hollow, geometric shapes in which she utilizes box-like forms and paints inner surfaces in a single, bright color. She has built an international reputation with monumental sculptural constructions of welded steel, informed by both Constructivism and Minimalism. Pepper's work has been exhibited and collected by major museums and galleries throughout the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The White House Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; and the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona.