Mark di Suvero's Sunflowers for Vincent, a large painted steel sculpture, operates in the Modernist tradition of constructed metal sculpture pioneered by artists such as Pablo Picasso and David Smith. It is constructed with both salvaged industrial steel objects, such as a ship's stainless steel propeller, and steel components cut by hand in full scale directly by the artist. Di Suvero, one of America's best known sculptors working with steel on a large scale, began in the 1960s to fabricate works of found lumber, rope, cable, and automobile tires sometimes combined in delicate balance with steel beams. By the mid-1970s, di Suvero had shifted to more reductive sculpture, using fewer elements, relying more upon steel, and crafting the parts from new steel stock. His work often incorporates moving parts that can be rocked, pushed, or sat upon, to encourage viewer interaction. Sunflowers for Vincent is a joyous celebration of twentieth-century industrial materials and the energetic, powerful forms they allow. Its title and yellow surface color are in homage to the sunflower paintings of Vincent Van Gogh.
Mark di Suvero's artistic signature is that all the steel cutting, welding, and bolting that goes into the sculpture is executed by hand by the sculptor himself. Di Suvero is a former paraplegic who, in spite of a disability that still requires him to use a cane, cuts, welds, forges, mounts, builds all his steel sculptures, whether small or monumental, with his own hands. Cutting steel much as a tailor cuts fabric, diSuvero pioneered the use of the crane as a working tool for sculpting.
Sunflowers for Vincent was mounted by the artist himself.
On View: 1988-2011