Mark Di Suvero

Photograph by Anne Leigniel Courtesy Spacetime C.C.

Marco Polo "Mark" di Suvero (born Sept. 18, 1933); abstract expressionist sculptor and 2010 National Medal of Arts recipient.

After graduating from college, di Suvero moved to NYC in 1957 to pursue a sculpting career. He worked part-time in construction and began to incorporate wood and metal from demolition sites into his work. Shortly before his first solo exhibition at Green Gallery, di Suvero was involved in a near-fatal elevator accident in March 1960, while working at a construction site. He suffered a broken back and severe spinal injures; doctors believed he wouldn't be able to walk again. While in rehabilitation, he learned to work with an arc welder which became critical for later pieces....

Di Suvero protested the Vietnam War, for which he was twice arrested, before he left the US in 1971. During his 4-year self-exile, he exhibited his works in the Netherlands and Germany, taught at the Università Internazionale dell'Arte, and lived in Chalon-sur-Saône, France, where he maintained a studio on a barge, Rêve de signes, until 1989. The barge has since been turned into La Vie des Formes, an atelier for emerging artists, which has been moored at Montceau-les-Mines since 2009.

He later returned to the US and opened a studio in Petaluma, CA in 1975. While the Petaluma studio is still active, di Suvero moved to NYC...

His early works were large outdoor pieces that incorporated wooden timbers from demolition buildings, tires, scrap metal and structural steel. This exploration has transformed over time into a focus on H-beams and heavy steel plates. Many of the pieces contain sections that are allowed to swing and rotate giving the overall forms a considerable degree of motion. He prides himself on his hands-on approach to the fabrication and installation of his work. Di Suvero pioneered the use of a crane as a sculptor's working tool. (
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First Collected by

Peter Nordberg


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