Sunday, January 3, 2010

For Handel

For Handel
sculpture by Mark di Suvero

The campus at Western Washington University, where I spent the better part of a decade, is home to an extensive collection of sculpture. Standing before the entrance to the Performing Arts Center, For Handel is perhaps the most recognizable installation on campus.


  1. I like the sculpture, and am a fan of public art. I'll have to visit the campus and wander a bit when I come to B'ham next summer for the local scooter rally.

  2. I wonder why the school became such an important venue for sculpture.

  3. Not only the most recognizable sculpture on campus but perhaps the largest? From this perspective it looks huge. Do you know what it represents?

  4. Brattcat - in 1957 the trustees decided to start acuiring art in any new construction budget. I have no idea what started this tradition though.

    Jacob - I wasn't able to copy the description of the piece from WWU's website into the browser but it will let me post it here:


    For Handel, 1975
    © Mark di Suvero

    Painted steel
    27' h.

    Gift from the Virginia Wright Fund, 1974; installation cost from Performing Arts Center construction funds.
    Photo: Art on File, Seattle

    Di Suvero's knowledge of music and sensitivity to the relationship of art and architecture led him to create a soaring sculpture dedicated to the composer George Frederic Handel. Di Suvero's work rises not only from the roof of the rehearsal hall below but also projects beyond this roof/plaza and against a magnificent view of water, mountains and sky. Sometimes di Suvero is considered an "action sculptor" in the way he draws directly with the steel I- beams. In running his own truck cranes, in using his welding torch and in directing the blocks and cables, he attempts to build multi- dimensional structures which seem to overcome physical laws.