An exhibition of sculpture and works on paper by Beatrice Caracciolo and Mark di Suvero presents drawing in two and three dimensions. Caracciolo is known primarily for large-scale drawings and di Suvero for monumental sculpture. Here, the artists’ work across both mediums demonstrates their shared propensity for forceful and expressive lines, uninhibited improvisation, and a breadth of techniques and materials.
Alternately working from historical sources, from life, or from her imagination, Caracciolo’s drawings present scenes of nature and antiquity, abstracted through controlled yet delicate marks. In the current exhibition, Caracciolo will show works from two ongoing series, all completed in 2021. The Combattere drawings are based on paintings by eighteenth-century Italian artist Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo of the stock character Pulcinella engaged in a fight. Tiepolo’s forms hover beneath the surface of Caracciolo’s works, enhanced by her spontaneous markings and the collaged paper elements that add texture and depth. The Esistenza series is more representational, delighting in the dramatic forms found in nature. Caracciolo was influenced by the philosophical tradition of seeking spiritual transcendence in a sublime landscape, and took particular inspiration from Chinese calligraphy and painting.
Mark di Suvero’s sculpture combines the roughness of industrial materials with a gestural quality reminiscent of three-dimensional drawing, a metaphor emphasized here by the ink and pencil studies on the surrounding walls. Tabletop works with kinetic or interchangeable elements contradict the weight of their titanium, steel, and bronze parts, while floor-bound sculptures encapsulate the issues at the core of di Suvero’s larger work, namely the intensely physical handling of metal, the contrast between mass and weightlessness, and the balance that results from the intersection of multidirectional angular and rounded shapes. The drawings are meditative rather than preparatory, capturing, in the artist’s words, “the memory of an idea and how to transform this idea into a sculpture…they are the map of my thinking. Feeling in ink.”
Beatrice Caracciolo (b. 1955, São Paulo, Brazil) is an Italian artist based in Paris. Recent one-person exhibitions include Innocenti at Paula Cooper Gallery (2020); Créer en soi le dragon de feu, at the Temple Collection in Beijing (2016); Attraversare Il Fuoco at Almine Rech Gallery in Paris (2013); … pour que passe enfin mon torrent d’anges at the Château de Haroué in Haroué, France (2012); and Tumulti at the Académie de France à Rome, Villa Medici (2010). Works by the artist are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Morgan Library, New York; the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
Mark di Suvero (b. 1933, Shanghai, China) first came to international prominence in 1975 with a display of his work in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris and a major retrospective that same year at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, which was accompanied by a citywide exhibition of large-scale works. The artist has had acclaimed international exhibitions in Nice (1991), Venice (1995, at the 46th Venice Biennale), Paris (1997), Governors Island, NY (2011), and San Francisco (2013), among many others. His numerous accolades include the 2000 International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award, the 2010 National Medal of Arts awarded by President Barack Obama, the 2010 Medal of the Archives of American Art, and the 2013 American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal. His works appear permanently installed in public spaces all over the world. The artist currently lives and works in New York and in Petaluma, California.