Mark di Suvero
Mark di Suvero is an American abstract expressionist sculptor born Marco Polo Levi in Shanghai, China in 1933 to Italian expatriates. He immigrated to San Francisco, California in 1942 with his family. From 1953 to 1957, he attended the University of California, Berkeley to study Philosophy. He later moved to New York City where he was surrounded by an explosion of Abstract Expressionism. While working in construction, he was critically injured in a freight elevator accident and focused all his attention on sculpture.
While in rehabilitation, he learned to work with an arc welder. His early works were large outdoor pieces that incorporated railroad ties, tires, scrap metal and structural steel. This exploration has transformed over time into a focus on I-beams and heavy gauge metal. 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 was a founding member of the Park Place Gallery and ConStruct, both artist-owned galleries, the former was the first SoHo Contemporary art gallery and the latter promoted and organized large-scale sculpture exhibitions throughout the United States. Other founding members include John Raymond Henry, Kenneth Snelson, Lyman Kipp and Charles Ginnever.
His distinctive, large bold pieces can be found all over the world. He continues to be the subject of multiple exhibitions and his commitment to emerging artists is undeniable through the Athena Foundation and the Socrates Sculpture Park. di Suvero has received the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center and, in 2005, the 11th Annual Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities for his commitment to aspiring artists.
di Suvero currently lives in New York City with his second wife, New York City Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs Kate Levin, and daughter. He has three working studios, one in Long Island City, a former brickyard on the edge of the East River in Long Island and an open air fabrication facility in Petaluma California, where he lived from 1975 to 1988. The third studio is on a river barge in Chalon-sur-Saône, France, since 1972.
He most recently published a book, titled Dreambook, a compilation of sculptures, poems, and ideas. The vibrant colors in it are reflected in the bright colors he always wears.
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