Beverly Semmes is an internationally recognized artist who has been showing her work since 1990. Her first exhibitions were two concurrent project rooms at PS1 and Artist's Space in New York City. Other early exhibitions included a large installation at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C. and a room-scaled work made for the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. By the mid-1990s, she was exhibiting work across the United States and in Europe. European projects at this time included solo shows at such major venues as the Camden Arts Centre in London; the Pecci Museum in Prato, Italy; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. She was also included in several important group shows early in her career, such as Plastic Fantastic Lover at the Blum Helman Warehouse in New York City, Bad Girls at New York City's New Museum, and Bad Girls West at the UCLA Art Museum in Los Angeles.
In 1995, the artist designed costumes and sets for the French choreographer Mathilde Monnier in Montpellier, France. This collaborative production--titled "Nuit"--continues to tour worldwide today. In the following years, she had numerous solo museum shows, including major exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, IL), the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, D.C.), the Virginia Museum of Art (Richmond, VA), the Whitney Museum Philip Morris Gallery, (New York, NY) and the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH). She exhibited large-scale projects in Japan in 1999 and in 2003. More recently, she has been included in several international shows such as Sonsbeek 9 (Arnhem, Holland), Regarding Beauty at the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington D.C.), Rapture at the Barbican Museum (London, England), New Material as New Media at the Fabric Workshop and Museum (Philadelphia, PA) and Dresscodes (St. Gallen, Switzerland).
Semmes has received numerous grants and awards, including an Alice Kimball English Award from Yale (1997), a grant from Art Matters (1998), an Artist's Space Grant (1989), an NEA Fellowship (1994-95), a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (1997), and a prestigious award from the Art Critics International Association (AICA USA) (2001) for her exhibition at the Philadelphia-based Fabric Workshop and Museum. She attended the Boston Museum School and the Skowhegan School of Art and received a BA in Art History, as well as a BFA in Fine Art (1982). Semmes attended Yale University School of Art where she was awarded an MFA in Sculpture (1987).
Semmes's work is in the permanent collections of many important museums, such as the Albright Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, NY) the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.), the Whitney Museum of American Art in (New York, NY), the Denver Art Museum (Denver, CO) and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, (Los Angeles, CA). She has completed three major commissioned works for public lobby spaces: an installation for Microsoft Corp. headquarters in Redmond, Wash., a large wall work for the Progressive Corp. in Mayfield Village, Ohio and a grand entry sculpture for Musachino Art University Library in Tokyo, Japan. In 2009, Semmes participated in a major survey exhibition called Dirt on Delight organized by the ICA Philadelphia, which traveled to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.
Beverly Semmes lives in New York City and teaches at New York University and Pratt Institute.