Galerie Mitterrand is delighted to be hosting the first solo exhibition held in France for more than 20 years of the works of American artist, Mark di Suvero. Globally renowned for his monumental sculptures erected in public spaces, notably since his extraordinary exhibition in the Tuileries Gardens in 1975 (the first ever to be dedicated to a living artist), Mark di Suvero is returning to French soil with an exhibition of sculptures he has been working on since the early 2000s.
Born in China to Italian parents in 1933, Mark Di Suvero and his family settled in California in the early 1940s. In 1957, after studying art and philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, di Suvero moved to New York and created his first sculptures out of retrieved materials and wood. From 1966, these works lead to monumental installations made from steel beams assembled into almost architectural constructions. In the 1970s, he moved to France for about a decade, living in Chalon-sur-Saône in the south of Burgundy, and founded a non-profit organisation which brought together sculptors in a unique setting: a barge moored in a shipyard. Over the years, his artistic vocabulary widened to include circular forms and sharp angles; giving way to more complex pieces exploring notions of balance and movement.
For his exhibition at Galerie Mitterrand, Mark di Suvero is presenting a selection of six sculptures made of steel, stainless steel, and titanium, which are characteristic of his entire body of work. Shooshine, 2002 is a monumental stainless-steel sculpture, 2m tall and 3m wide. Comprising a fixed component and a mobile component balanced on a pole, the sculpture was designed to spin and sway when given a light push by the viewer. In this piece, Mark di Suvero explores a dialogue between grace and lightness, which contrasts starkly with the heavy-duty material chosen by the artist. Cloud Walker, 2013 and Untitled, 2014 are two other manoeuvrable sculptures, made on a smaller scale out of steel and stainless steel. They pick up on the artist’s favoured themes of movement and interaction. Further pursuing his interest in modularity, di Suvero has also created a series of works called “puzzle pieces”, composed of several independent metal parts which must be assembled to create a finished work. These puzzle pieces’ ability to slot together in various combinations means that they contain, as it were, several different works within them. It’s following this logic that the two sculptures Untitled, 2017 were created.
Born Marco Polo di Suvero in Shanghai, China in 1933. Currently lives and works in Petaluma, USA. His sculptures fall within the abstract-expressionist movement, and have been exhibited in numerous museums, galleries, and public spaces in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia since the 1960s. His works are also featured among the collections of many museums and galleries: the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC; the Whitney Museum of American Art, and MoMA in New York; the Moderna Museet in Stockholm; the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra; and the Storm King Art Center in the state of New York, where three major exhibitions have been dedicated to him.