Mark di Suvero
534 W 21st Street
NEW YORK – Paula Cooper Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of recent work by Mark di Suvero, highlighting the artist’s continued preeminence in abstract sculpture. The show, on view at 534 West 21st Street, will be up from November 3rd through December 10th, 2016. The opening reception is on Friday, November 4th from 6 to 8pm.
As art historian Barbara Rose stated, “[Mark di Suvero’s] genius lies in his unique ability to fuse the excitement of the momentary … with the gravity of a timeless geometry and the engineered ability and intuitive equilibrium that his hard-won mastery of structural balances makes possible.” His works thrive on the collision of geometric and organic forms through spontaneous experimentation. “I don’t draw detailed plans,” he said. “I start with a vision … and see where it goes.” Di Suvero executes and installs his sculptures himself. Designing and revising throughout every step of construction, he welds, bends, cuts and bolts with illimitable buoyancy. The massive steel sheet plate becomes a blank piece of paper on top of which he crawls to sketch freehand forms with chalk. The industrial crane becomes an extension of the artist’s arm, handled as if he were painting with a brush. Activated by this spirited process, the final structures assert a dynamic and irrefutable presence.
Ranging from approximately five to thirteen feet in height, the midsize scale of the works on view accommodates an especially wide range of formal improvisation that highlights the artist’s constructivist foundation and expansive manipulation of line and space. Composed of texturally contrasting materials including steel, stainless steel and painted steel, Nextro (2003) offers an enigmatic staccato of linear and spherical elements. A recent work from 2015 entitled Post-Matisse Pullout draws inspiration from the cut-outs of the French artist, Henri Matisse. The playful potential for imminent change contained in its bowing curvilinear structure recalls the mutable paper and thumbtacks used by Matisse for continuous alterations. In contrast to that work’s lithe unbroken lines, The Cave (2015) and Szymborska (2016) deliver multifaceted planes, sharp angles, interlocking chains and robust load-bearing steel beams. Also on view are calligraphic ink drawings and vibrantly colored acrylic paintings.
Mark di Suvero currently lives and works in New York. His first retrospective was at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975 and was accompanied by a citywide exhibition of large-scale works. The artist has had acclaimed international exhibitions in Nice (1991), Venice (1995, on the occasion of the 46th Venice Biennale) and Paris (1997), among others. In 2011, eleven monumental works were installed on Governors Island in New York Harbor. Organized by Storm King Art Center, this marked the largest outdoor exhibition of work in New York City since the 1970s. That same year di Suvero received the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest honor given to artists. In May 2013, SFMOMA presented eight monumental sculptures in the city’s historic Crissy Field for a yearlong outdoor exhibition. In September 2016, two monumental works were installed on Chicago’s Lakeshore Drive through a partnership between the Chicago Park District and EXPO CHICAGO. These works will be on view through 2017. One can also see a number of di Suvero sculptures at the Storm King Art Center in Mountainville, New York, permanently installed.