Sunflowers for Vincent Makes its Debut at UMass Boston
January 17, 2012
It is one of the first things you see when arriving on campus: a bright yellow assemblage of reclaimed steel and aluminum, 30 feet long and 10 feet tall, situated by the HarborWalk.
Last month UMass Boston added the eye-catching Sunflowers for Vincent to Arts on the Point, the university’s public arts initiative. The sculpture was installed December 15, between University Drive and the HarborWalk near the bend at the campus’s entrance from Morrissey Boulevard.
Sunflowers for Vincent was created by world-renowned artist Mark di Suvero, and pays homage to one of his favorite artists, Vincent van Gogh, whose paintings of sunflowers are some of the Dutchman’s most famous.
“This is the only place you can see two monumental works by Mark di Suvero,” said Paul Tucker, professor of art and curator of the campus’s Arts on the Point.
This is UMass Boston’s second di Suvero piece. Sunflowers for Vincent joins another monumental work by di Suvero, titled Huru, which stands nearby at the front of the Integrated Sciences Complex, making Columbia Point the only location in New England where the public can see two examples of this renowned artist’s achievements.
Completed in 1985 and weighing 15,000 pounds, or seven tons, its cheerful yellow beams are arranged in an artful but playful harmony.
“The idea that it can sit there so gracefully, so elegantly, speaks about Mark di Suvero’s vision,” Tucker said. “He can see beauty in the mundane, raise ordinary to extraordinary.”
Before arriving at UMass Boston, Sunflowers for Vincent was displayed for many years in the deCordova Sculpture Park.
“We are thrilled that this colorful and engaging abstract sculpture will be remaining in New England,” said Nick Capasso, deputy director for curatorial affairs at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum.
What makes Sunflowers for Vincent’s arrival in Boston even more fitting is that Vincent Van Gogh’s famous painting of Sunflowers was made to go with a portrait of his friend Madame Augustine Roulin, which is housed in the Museum of Fine Arts.
“It's great that this fantastic di Suvero on the theme of sunflowers is in Boston,” said George Shackelford, the former chair of European art and Solomon Curator of Modern Art at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. “It makes me smile, in part because van Gogh's famous painting of Sunflowers was made to go with the MFA’s great portrait of his friend Mme. Roulin. It’s nice to have these symbols of friendship and admiration in the community.”
Other artists whose works are featured in UMass Boston’s Arts on the Point are Dennis Oppenheim, Roy Lichtenstein, William Tucker, Luis Jiménez, and Willem de Kooning.
“I thank Professor Tucker for his passionate work in helping to make Arts on the Point a destination for art lovers,” Chancellor J. Keith Motley said. “This is just another way to celebrate the new and changing UMass Boston campus.”
Watch a WCVB “Chronicle” video about the Harborwalk and Arts on the Point.
Posted by Jim Gajewski | Thursday, January 19 2012 at 12:50 am
I don’t understand why UMass Boston keeps putting these ugly pieces of modern art around the campus. No one I know on campus likes these things, but the administration just keeps inflicting them on us. I wish that we could have some art that actually looks good on campus and is beautiful to a wider audience.
Posted by joan reynolds | Thursday, September 6 2012 at 9:27 am
I support the art sculpture on campus but can’t help but think that the university should plant some REAL SUNFLOWERS on CAMPUS!