Listening to Art

10.07: Mark di Suvero, Sticky Wicket

Download (MP3).

Listening to Art, by William Denton.

Volume ten, number seven: Sticky Wicket by Mark di Suvero.

Hello, and welcome to Listening to Art. I’m William Denton.

In this issue we return to the 1978 sculpture we first heard in volume seven number five. About the sculptor, I quote from Matthew Baigell’s revised edition of A Concise History of American Painting and Sculpture (p. 343):

[T]he sprawling forms of Mark di Suvero, which bear a familial relation to the paintings of [Franz] Kline, deny autobiographical or mysterious references. They reach out into space and are balanced precariously in defiance of gravity. The histories of the specific materials—battered tree stumps, planks, chains, rubber tires—are neither suppressed nor transformed. Instead, they link together visually in a manner similar to that of a Rauschenberg combine.

Many of di Suvero’s pieces lack a central base. Removed from their pedestals, they are part of the viewer’s space and create, on an impressive three-dimensional scale, the three-dimensional body rhythms that Willard Huntington Wright thought were a major goal of modern art. Although di Suvero’s works are usually motionless, they communicate tremendous kinetic energy because, like human limbs, their parts extend outward from an implied center and therefore seem capable of instant readjustment.

This is a sculpture, made of cables and welded and painted steel, fitting in a volume 427 cm wide, 670 cm high and 1371 cm deep.

Now let’s listen to Sticky Wicket by Mark di Suvero, recorded at York University, in Toronto, on 02 November 2021.

Waveform of the field recording.

That was Sticky Wicket by Mark di Suvero. I hope you enjoyed listening to it as much as I did.

For more information and links to things I’ve mentioned, please visit

Listening to Art is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


All web sites accessed as of date of publication.

Art Gallery of York University. “Mark di Suvero, Sticky Wicket, 1978.” Welcome to the Art Gallery of York University.

Baigell, Matthew. A Concise History of American Painting and Sculpture. Rev. ed. New York: Routledge, 2018.

Denton, William. “Mark di Suvero, Sticky Wicket.” Listening to Art 07, no. 05 (15 July 2020).

Wikipedia, s.v. “Mark di Suvero,”

York University. “Sticky Wicket.” York University Digital Library.