This fall New Yorkers have a unique opportunity to view two exemplary approaches to abstract expressionist sculpture, all within two city blocks from each other. At Paula Cooper Gallery Mark di Suvero’s mid-sized steel sculptures display split personalities where the light, curvy, and floating self is tethered to the heavier, bulky and more burdensome corporeality via moorings such as the plinth, anchor and chain, or simply through the physical relationship with the ground. Time and again, Di Suvero’s winning compositions combine the found and the made, the geometric and organic and make expert use of the malleability and different textures of steel into timeless, cerebral narratives. Through December 10.
At David Zwirner, Carol Bove integrates many of Di Suvero’s starting points into decidedly different outcomes. Like her senior counterpart, Bove’s assemblages also meld the found and the made, the geometric and the abstract, and also make expert use of the texture of different kinds of steel. Bove, however, sets herself apart through her deft grasp of color that accentuates or negates the malleability of the material. In Bove’s accomplished practice, long geometric steel tubes in bright primary colors bend like rubber and elegant white steel coils can feel as light as paperclips. She then inserts these made forms into salvaged pieces creating a sculptural relationship where the Found and the Made dance, mate, fight or support each other. It is this opening of new possibilities that elevates Bove above many of her peers and that makes me look forward to her contribution for Switzerland at the Venice Biennale next year. Through December 17.