DALLAS, Texas (November 17, 2022) – The Nasher Sculpture Center announces Mark di Suvero: Steel Like Paper, a milestone exhibition of the sculptor’s more than six-decade career. The exhibition will survey di Suvero’s work, showing rarely seen drawings and paintings along with small and moderately scaled sculptures, as well as some of the artist’s first forays into working at a large scale. Mark di Suvero: Steel Like Paper will be on view from January 28 to August 27, 2023.
Mark di Suvero (American, born China, 1933) has long been lauded as one of the most significant sculptors of the past 60 years, renowned for monumental, abstract, steel constructions that grace urban plazas, bucolic sculpture parks, and public spaces throughout the world. Industrial studios in Long Island City, New York and Petaluma, California support the creation of these large-scale works, as well as nurture his practice on a more intimate scale.
Featuring 30 sculptures ranging in size from hand-held to monumental, and more than 40 drawings and paintings spanning the artist’s career, Mark di Suvero: Steel Like Paper reveals how the artist’s studio practice generates the power of his monumental vision. It will also mark the first presentation of a recent gift to the Nasher Sculpture Center of five small sculptures, four drawings, and one screenprint from the collection of Lisa Schachner, former curator at Gemini G.E.L. and a friend of the artist.
In reference to the monumental works and his studio practice, di Suvero noted that, for him, plates of steel are like sheets of white paper, suggesting a facility, intimacy, and malleability rarely associated with his obdurate materials. The drawings exhibit a freedom and dynamism similar to his sculptures. Smaller scale works perch, balance, twirl, and unfold, evincing a whimsy and wonder which informs, at times more subtly, the monumental works and the artist’s creative life. The sense of play apparent in the smaller works harkens back to the artist’s first forays into public sculpture, making swings and play sculptures for art patrons and neighborhood kids alike. Such egalitarianism is a core foundation for the artist that found expression not only in his public sculptures, but also in his lifelong dedication to social activism.
“Steel Like Paper offers new perspectives on a pivotal figure in the history of contemporary sculpture, and an artist of special importance to Dallas,” says Director Jeremy Strick. “Gathering together sculptures, drawings, and paintings from across the artist’s career, the exhibition will reveal the ways in which di Suvero’s creative process advances in a stream of constant innovation and artistic invention, enhancing a fuller understanding, too, of his exuberant and thrilling monumental sculptures.”
Organized by the Nasher Sculpture Center’s Chief Curator, Jed Morse, the exhibition will be the first major museum investigation of the artist’s studio practice and the most extensive survey of his work in over 30 years. A lavishly illustrated publication featuring new scholarship on the artist will accompany the exhibition. In recognition of the long friendship the artist shared with Nasher Sculpture Center founders Raymond and Patsy Nasher, the exhibition will take place as part of the museum’s celebration of its 20th year.
Mark di Suvero: Steel Like Paper is made possible by leading support from the Texas Commission on the Arts and Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger. Additional support is provided by the Dallas Tourism Public Improvement District (DTPID). Generous support for the exhibition catalogue is provided by Paula Cooper Gallery.
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