Mark di Suvero Exhibit Opens January 17 in Fine Arts Gallery

markdisuveroMark di Suvero—Affinities, on view through February 28, celebrates Vanderbilt’s recent acquisition of Tumbleweed (1987), di Suvero’s monumental sculpture now installed on the grounds of the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center on the main campus. The exhibit opens Thursday, January 17, in the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery in Cohen Hall, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

While including several drawings by di Suvero, this exhibit is not so much an attempt to explore the artist’s influences as it is to find works of art within the Fine Arts Gallery’s collection that, as the title suggests, share an affinity with the artist’s practice. “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,” said Joseph Mella, director of the Fine Arts Gallery. By taking this approach, Mella hopes 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 Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Alexander Calder, alongside African masks, Chinese calligraphy, and Indian Tantra drawings. Mark di Suvero—Affinities brings together works of art across time and place, cultures and peoples, and aims to deepen our understanding of the subject of the exhibit and reveal certain affinities with the artist.

Mark di Suvero—Affinities is organized by the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Mella in conjunction with the artist, his studio, and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. A generous gift from Leslie Cecil and Creighton Michael, MA’76, with additional support from the Department of Art, made this exhibit possible. The recently established Kathryn and Margaret Millspaugh Fund for Art Conservation sponsored conservation treatment for several permanent collection works that will be on view.

From 4 to 6 p.m. that same evening, the Department of Art’s Space 204, located in the E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts Center, will host an opening reception for the exhibitions Yuja, work by Jean Kang, the 2011 recipient of the Margaret Stonewall Wooldridge Hamblet Award, and The Dreams of Architects and Poets, work by Jered Sprecher. Both receptions are open to the public, and there will be a free shuttle bus available to take guests between the two galleries. For details, call Amy Bridgeman at the Fine Arts Gallery at 615.343.1702 or Diane Acree at the Department of Art at 615.343.7241.

The Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery is located in Cohen Memorial Hall, 1220 21st Avenue South, on the western edge of the Peabody College campus. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; noon to 8 p.m., Thursday; and 1-5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit

*Image: Mark di Suvero, American, b. 1933, Untitled (from 16 “Magma drawings”), 2008. Pen, ink, and pencil on paper, 22-1/2 x 30-1/4 inches. ©Mark di Suvero. Courtesy Paul Cooper Gallery, New York, MDI-172-D

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