Iron, steel, wood
Collection of the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College: Gift of Hedy and Kent M. Klineman, Class of 1954; S.976.72
X-Delta arrived at Dartmouth College shortly after Mark di Suvero's triumphant exhibition at New York's Whitney Museum of American Art in 1975. The sculpture is among the artist's first architecturally scaled, steel-beam works; it was created using an industrial crane to assemble the structural components. Di Suvero, a member of the crane operators' union, has referred to such heavy machinery as "my paintbrush." The great advance in size and scale of his sculpture that began with X-Delta would culminate in works exceeding heights of one hundred feet.
The Greek letters hinted at in the title are suggested by the linear arrangements of the beams, the basic structure of which relates to the workaday improvisation of the sawhorse. The distinctive cantilever, from which the wooden platform (bed) hangs, breaks through the frame into the openness of space and dramatizes the balance of the work. The artist has spoken of how the center of gravity of individual beams (and entire sculptures) only reveals itself through the balance struck when the weight is lifted by a crane. X-Delta is unusual for a work from this stage of the sculptor's development, in that it allows access to the wooden platform, where one can appreciate it from a decidedly alternative point of view.
Last Updated: 10/25/12