Normanno Wedge

Beverly Pepper
Cast iron. 7' 3" h.
Photo Credit: 
Jesse Sturgis


Interested in going beyond the "embryo state" of a wedge, Beverly Pepper created a work which is both a monument to tools and the spiritual product of tools, i.e. civilization. Working with an Italian foundry, she transferred her original wood pattern into iron; at Western she specified that this studio sculpture - already with a strong vertical thrust - be placed on a mound in a peopled area. Seen in profile, the sculpture is like a column; viewed from another side, the expansive wedge suggests an altar.

Just as Abakanowicz sensed the enchanted quality of the cold forests of Poland or the primitive nature of the tropical rain forests of Papua New Guinea, Pepper was transfixed by the thick growth and gnarled trees interpenetrating the Buddhist carved reliefs that covered the temples at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Caro, too, remembered similar encrusted temples in India. While both Abakanowicz and Pepper have created a sense of a total environment in a singular object and have made a large environment with one type of object, Pepper's recent interest has been the sense of transition one finds in any culture's tools.

Funding provided by

Western Washington University in partnership with one-half of one percent for art law, Art in Public Places Program, Washington State Arts Commission.

Audio interpretation of Normanno Wedge


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