For Immediate Release: August 16, 2006
Contact: Marsha Nishi Mullan
Penelope Jencks' 'Beach Series II, 1988-2006'
to Be Featured at Swarthmore College,
September 6-October 8
"Beach Series II, 1988-2006" by Penelope Jencks will be presented in the List Gallery, Lang Performing Arts Center, Swarthmore College, from Wednesday, Sept. 6, through Sunday, Oct. 8. This exhibition features the most recent work from the artist's traveling retrospective organized by the Boston University School of Visual Arts. On Thursday, Sept. 7, the artist will conduct an open class in the List Gallery from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m. She will also give a public slide lecture titled "Private Sculpture and Public Monuments, a Career in Sculpture" at 4:30 p.m. in the Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema. A gallery reception will follow from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The exhibit, talk and reception are free and open to the public. The newly expanded List Gallery hours are Tuesdays-Sundays, noon-5 p.m.
Jencks' series of eight 10-foot-tall plaster figures express her childhood memories of seeing adults bathing nude during summers on Cape Cod. Her works capture both the monumentality and vulnerability of these figures whose physical flaws and animating poses are both particular and universal.
In the inner gallery, Jencks exhibits her small-scale bronze, plaster, and terracotta sculptures. Her recent series, "Dunescapes," portray tiny figures in anthropomorphic seascapes that can read as both bucolic and threatening.
"Beach Series II, 1988-2006" presents the fruits of a distinguished 40 year career. A member of the National Academy of Design and the Royal British Society of Sculptors, Jencks' numerous awards include a National Endowment of the Arts Commendation for Design Excellence. Her celebrated public commissions include her monumental sculpture of Eleanor Roosevelt for Riverside Park in New York. Her work "Family," for Portside Festival Park, Toledo, Ohio, won the Henry Hering Memorial Medal for outstanding collaboration between architect and sculptor.
Jencks studied art history and French at Swarthmore College for two years before transferring to the School of Visual Arts at Boston University, where she received her B.F. A. in 1958. She also studied painting at the Hoffman School of Painting and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She pursued advanced studies at the Boston Museum School and Stuttgardt Kunst Akademie. Her work is included in distinguished collections such as that of The White House, the National Academy of Design, Bilbioteca di Peitrasanta, Italy, and the cities of New York and Boston. Currently, she is creating a monumental sculpture of Robert Frost for Amherst College.
This exhibition is made possible through a grant from the William J. Cooper Foundation. A 47-page color catalog accompanies the exhibition.