Designer: Mark di Suvero

Award-winning modernist sculptor Mark di Suvero is celebrated as one of the most important figures to emerge from the Abstract Expressionist movement in America. Wright celebrates di Suvero and his achievements in the realm of modern sculpture.
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After moving to New York in 1957, di Suvero worked in construction and nearly lost his life in an elevator accident. While recovering, he experimented with new methods of creating sculpture that did not rely on physical strength alone.

Di Suvero is dedicated to creating public art that pushes the barriers between the viewer and art typically prescribed in a museum setting; simply stated, “What art can do for a community is incredible.”

A lifelong activist, his 1966 Peace Tower, once stood 55 feet high in Los Angeles as a protest to the Vietnam War. His opposition to the war eventually led him to leave the United States and live for years abroad in The Netherlands and France.

Mark di Suvero, Artists’ Tower of Protest (Peace Tower), 1966. Steel and mixed media, 55 ft. Installed Los Angeles. Charles Brittin Archive, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, (2005.M.11). Photo: Charles Brittin. © J. Paul Getty Trust.

I'm a constructivist... symbolical constructs—like language, like mathematics, like art—are the things that change people's minds. They are where we grow.

Mark di Suvero

Mark di Suvero b. 1933

Mark di Suvero was born in China in 1933 to Italian parents. His father was a naval attaché and the family was transferred from Shanghai to California in 1941. Di Suvero attended the University of California first studying philosophy but became enamored with sculpture as he felt he could contribute more to art than to philosophy. While working part-time as a construction worker, he suffered a severe on-site elevator accident. While recovering, he learned how to work with an arc welder and his sculptures became ever larger. In 1963, di Suvero was one of the founding members of the Park Place Gallery in New York. In response to the Vietnam War, he crafted his 1966 sculpture Peace Tower in Los Angeles as an anti-war critique and in 1971 he left the United States for Europe as a voluntary protest against the war. He returned to the U.S. in 1974, and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art the following year. A tireless promoter of emerging artists, di Suvero founded the Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens in 1986.

In 2000, he was awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture. The artist currently lives and works in Queens. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Storm King Art Center, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Art Institute of Chicago among many others.

Public Collections

Akron Museum of Art, Ohio
The City of Baltimore
Baltimore Museum of Art
The Bradley Family Foundation Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee
The City of Chalon-sur-Saône, France
Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio
Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire
Daimler Art Collection, Potsdamer Platz, Berlin
Dallas Museum of Art
Denver Art Museum
Des Moines Art Center
Detroit Institute of Arts
Fairmount Park Association, Philadelphia
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Legion of Honor
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana
Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Indianapolis Art Museum

Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Arts Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, California
Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo, The Netherlands
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Martin Z. Margulies Sculpture Park at Florida International University, Miami
The Menil Collection, Houston
Miami University Art Museum, Oxford, Ohio
Milwaukee Art Museum
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pennsylvania
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas
Nathan Manilow Sculpture Park at Governors State University, University Park, Illinois
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

Oakland Museum of California
Palm Springs Desert Museum, California
Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri
The City and County of San Francisco, San Francisco Arts Commission
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Seattle Art Museum, Olympic Sculpture Park
Skulpturenpark Köln, Cologne
Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York
Technopôle Brest-Iroise, Brest, France
Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio
University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City
University of Nebraska—Lincoln, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, Lincoln
The City of Valence, France
Vanderbilt University, Nashville
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Western Washington University, Bellingham
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven

To learn more about a work by Mark di Suvero in your collection, contact our specialists.
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