Sunflowers for Vincent

Mark di Suvero's Sunflowers for Vincent

Mark di Suvero (1933- )
Installation Date: December 15, 2011

Paul Tucker, professor of art and curator of the campus’s Arts on the Point, says Sunflowers for Vincent, UMass Boston's second di Suvero piece (the other is Huru), is a homage to the Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh.

"Right away to set up that kind of challenge is significant. You could paint a portrait, reference something he did, but if you want to pay homage in a contemporary way, you have to think through him," Tucker says. "I think the piece operates on many levels. The intense yellow was very close to van Gogh’s heart. It meant life, fertility, warmth, the sun, the South, and Japan. Van Gogh felt the Japanese artists were the closest to nature. It’s also like a boat. There's a 15,000-pound propeller on the back. We’re all on journeys and Mark (di Suvero) owns a barge and he navigates the waters of France. It also is whimsical and readable. One of van Gogh’s great appeals is he is so accessible and Mark likes that notion on many levels. He doesn’t like to create works that stand in isolation, but rather interact with the world."

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