Mark di Suvero
534 W 21st Street
NEW YORK—The Paula Cooper Gallery will present new works, including a painting and a monumental steel sculpture, by the preeminent American artist Mark di Suvero, at its 534 West 21st Street space, opening November 22, 2011.
Mark di Suvero continues to test the limits of large-scale sculpture, engaging space through seemingly weightless compositions of colossal steel beams, torqued metal and kinetic elements. The never-before-seen Paula’s Pleasure, a soaring construction measuring approximately twenty feet in height, is an assemblage of intersecting I-beams tied around a central steel “knot”. The piece invites active contemplation from various angles, shifting our perception of space and sense of balance as we move under and around it.Par la Fenêtre, also 2011, is a free standing cut out steel sheet that exemplifies di Suvero’s treatment of metal as if it were a thoroughly malleable, pliable material like paper or ink.A 10 x 12-foot painting made of explosive color overlays in swooping patterns will be exhibited in the adjacent gallery. Though known primarily for his sculpture, di Suvero is also an accomplished painter, draftsman and printmaker, creating vibrant works that extend his exploration of line and color in a two-dimensional space.
Di Suvero was born in 1933 in Shanghai, China to Italian parents. In 1941 his family emigrated from China to California, and he moved to New York in 1957. In 1960 he had his first, widely praised exhibition at the Green Gallery. He later co-founded the Park Place Gallery, an artist-run cooperative where he exhibited through 1967. He was given his first retrospective exhibition in 1975 at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and showed large-scale works at Le Jardin des Tuileries in Paris the same year. In addition to countless museum shows, he has had acclaimed citywide exhibitions in Nice (1991), Venice (1995, on the occasion of the 46th Venice Biennale) and Paris (1997). A substantial amount of outdoor sculptures are permanently installed at the Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York, a sculpture park that has also organized important exhibitions of the artist’s work in 1985, 1995-96, 2005-6 and 2008. Most recently, eleven monumental works were installed on Governor’s Island in New York Harbor, the largest outdoor exhibition of work in New York since the 1970s. In 2011, di Suvero received the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor given to artists.Mark di Suvero is a lifelong activist for peace and social justice, and has demonstrated a generous commitment to helping artists. In 1986, he established Socrates Sculpture Park at the site of a landfill on the East River in Queens, New York. Through his leadership, a 4.5 acre parcel was transformed by a coalition of artists and community members into an open studio and exhibition space. To date, the park has hosted the work of over 800 artists.