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Mark di Suvero

Hankchampion

1960

On View

Floor 7

Robert W. Wilson Galleries

Artist

Mark di Suvero (1933-)

Title

Hankchampion

Date

1960

Medium

Wood, steel hardware and chains

Dimensions

Overall: 77 1/2 × 152 × 109 3/16 in. (196.9 × 386.1 × 277.3 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Scull

Accession number

73.85a-i

Object Label

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.

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