Mark di Suvero b. 1933
Mark Di Suvero was born in China in 1933 to Italian parents. Di Suvero’s father was a naval attaché, and his family was transferred from Shanghai to California in 1941. Di Suvero attended the University of California, first studying philosophy but he soon became enamored with sculpture, as he felt he could contribute more to art than he could to philosophy. While working part-time as a construction worker, di Suvero had a severe on-site elevator accident and he suffered a broken back. 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, di Suvero 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 in 1975. A tireless promoter of emerging artists, in 1986, Di Suvero founded the Socrates Sculpture Park in Astoria, Queens. In 2000, di Suvero was awarded the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture. Di Suvero currently lives and continues to work 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.