Mark di Suvero (1933-)
Wood, steel hardware and chains
Overall: 77 1/2 × 152 × 109 3/16 in. (196.9 × 386.1 × 277.3 cm)
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Scull
Rights and Reproductions Information
© artist or artist’s estate
Hankchampion was the centerpiece of the first major exhibition of Mark di Suvero’s sculptures. Named in honor of the artist’s younger brother, Hank, who had assisted di Suvero in his recovery from a near fatal accident in March 1960, the work reflects the sculptor’s attempt to “give an emotional charge to space.” He arranged eight massive, weathered timber beams and a long metal chain—material reclaimed from the artist’s downtown Manhattan neighborhood—into a bold, asymmetrical configuration that recalled the gestural brushstrokes of the Abstract Expressionist painters whom di Suvero particularly admired. The composition also represents a young artist’s response to the expected stability of traditional sculpture. Di Suvero torqued static horizontals and verticals into dramatic, surging diagonals that convey an impression of precarious tension rather than equilibrium.