Mark di Suvero

Mark di Suvero

The monumental sculptures of Mark di Suvero were on display at Fairchild for two previous art seaons. Four massive, steel pieces graced the wide open spaces of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.

For a gallery of images of di Suvero's art at Fairchild, click here.

For a WLRN video showcasing Mark di Suvero's art at Fairchld, click here.

All of the sculptures in the exhibition were courtesy of Paula Cooper Gallery and Spacetime C.C. The Mark di Suvero exhibit was also generously supported by the Aaron I. Fleischman Foundation.

Olompali, on display until April 2010.

 

Gnarly, a towering, twisting steel triumph.

 

Olompali, on display until April 2010.

 

She, power and grace rolled into one.

 

Neruda's Gate

 

                   Rust Angel, ready to take flight.

About the Artist

 Mark di Suvero was born in Shanghai, China, in 1933, where his father became part of the Italian consular service. At the outbreak of World War II, his family moved to San Francisco.

In 1956, he graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and di Suvero followed a fellow artist to New York City where he survived by doing various odd jobs to make money. He began making wood and plaster sculptures from wood pieces that he found discarded around the city. He recalls being influenced by a 1953 exhibition of Albert Giacometti's (1901-1966) elongated metal sculptures. His wood sculptures began to grow into larger pieces, even involving railroad ties that he carried back to his studio.


In New York in 1957, di Suvero began using scrap from demolished buildings to create what he called "cubist, open spatial sculptures. "While he was preparing for his first exhibition at the Green Gallery, he continued to support himself with odd jobs. At a construction day job in 1960, he was injured in a freight elevator accident which left him paralyzed. He spent two years in hospitals and rehabilitation facilities, and gradually regained some use of his legs. Most of his remaining life would be spent in a wheelchair.

This terrible misfortune didn't deter his interest to sculpt. The exhibition at Green Gallery took place with the help of friends who carried the pieces to the gallery. Di Suvero soon learned to use an electric arc welder and began to show his first stainless steel work in New York. Throughout the '60s, di Suvero mastered the use of the crane, acetylene torch and welder. Shortly thereafter, he bought his own crane and began to use it to bend and assemble steel for his art. He felt steel was not made for display inside galleries and for collectors, since it is a material from the "real world," and it needed to be displayed outdoors. He began his first large sculptures in 1960.

Di Suvero was the first living artist to have his work shown in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris in 1975, and the first artist to have three major exhibitions at the Storm King Art Center in New York. He is a past recipient of the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center, and he also received the 2005 Heinz Award for the Arts and Humanities for his commitment to aspiring artists.

This prolific American sculptor's dynamic works have punctuated landscapes and urban environments for half a century. His arresting pieces have consistently drawn critical acclaim, confronting audiences with their audacious colors and shapes and mesmerizing even the casual passer-by with their subtle energy and intricate proportion.

His monumental metal sculptures have been shown widely in the United States and Europe. Di Suvero's bold pieces can be found in public spaces and private collections around the world. Currently, he divides his time between industrial studios in California, New York and Chalon-sur-Saone, France.

Art at Fairchild is generously supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Lin Lougheed and Aaron I. Fleischman.