Mark di Suvero—Affinities will be presented in celebration of Vanderbilt University’s recent acquisition of Tumbleweed, di Suvero’s monumental sculpture now installed on the grounds of the university’s E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center. While including several drawings by the artist, this exhibition is an effort to explore not so much di Suvero’s influences, but rather works of art found within the gallery’s collection that share an affinity with the artist’s practice.

Joseph Mella, director of the Fine Arts Gallery, explained that “particular care was taken not to limit our choices to well-recognized artists one might expect in an exhibition of this kind in order to be more inclusive and less linear.” By taking this approach, Mella continued, “we hope to suggest how disparate works of art can help define an artist’s sensibility.” This non-traditional methodology has resulted in an exhibition that includes works by Picasso, Braque, and Calder, alongside African masks, Chinese calligraphy, and Indian Tantra drawings. 

Affinities will also feature work by several other twentieth- and twenty-first-century American sculptors, including prints by Alexander Calder, Eduardo Chillida, Seymour Lipton, and Martin Puryear. One highlight will be John Chamberlain’s sculpture Maz, 1960. Most recently featured in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s retrospective, John Chamberlain: Choices, Maz is an important early example of Chamberlain’s extension of sculpture beyond the predominantly monochromatic work of the vast majority of sculptors in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

A 1985 film showing di Suvero at work will be shown as a part of this exhibition. In the film, we see the artist drawing arabesques and curve-shaped forms on massive sheets of steel that become central elements of a large sculpture not unlike Vanderbilt’s Tumbleweed.


A reception will be held in celebration of this exhibition on January 17, 2013, from 5 to 7 p.m. Mark di Suvero—Affinities will remain on view through February 28 at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 12 to 4 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

 Have you seen Mark di Suvero on 25th?

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