Just blocks from where his studio stood in the late 1960s, Mark di Suvero returns to Venice Beach, where he will present a solo exhibition of new sculpture and works on paper throughout all spaces at L.A. Louver.
In the main gallery, the exhibition will include two new monumental sculptures, created from steel and stainless steel, which cut swathes through space with abstract expressionist gestures and graceful movement. Several smaller sculptures of steel and titanium will accompany this large form in both interior and exterior galleries, taking advantage of the materials’ interplay with the Southern Californian light.
A gallery of works on paper in graphite and ink, relate to, but stand independent of, the sculptures. Each drawing is loose, exuberant, emotional, and conveys a spirit akin to poetry. The drawings are lyrical odes to the spirit and energy that di Suvero instills in his three dimensional works.
A book entitled Declaration is published to coincide with di Suvero’s exhibition. Declaration documents an evening of readings that was held on December 11, 2001, in commemoration of, and in response to 9/11. The volume includes poems and texts by Norma Cole, Fred Dewey, Peter J. Harris, Lewis MacAdams, Douglas Messerli, Martha Ronk, Standard Schaefer, Dennis Phillips, Paul Vangelisti and Diane Ward.
The December 2001 readings were presented by L.A. Louver, Otis
College of Art and Design’s Graduate Writing Program, Beyond
Baroque and the Venice Family Clinic, and were held at the base of
Mark di Suvero’s sculpture Declaration, 1999-2001. The book is published by Beyond Baroque and is available for $10.
From its placement on a grassy knoll in Venice Beach, and with the
Pacific Ocean as its backdrop, di Suvero’s Declaration soars 60 feet
into the sky. Since its installation in May 2001, as a celebration in
honor of the Venice Family Clinic’s ARTWALK, the sculpture has become a Venice landmark.
Born Marco Polo di Suvero in Shanghai, China in 1933, to Italian parents, di Suvero’s family immigrated to the United States in 1941. Mark di Suvero studied philosophy and fine art at San Francisco City College, and the University of California in Santa Barbara and Berkeley. Following graduation, he moved to New York City in 1957 and immediately began exhibiting his wood sculptures. In 1960, New York’s Green Gallery gave di Suvero his first solo exhibition, for which he
received wide acclaim and instant renown as an important, groundbreaking artist. However, while preparing for this show, di Suvero suffered a nearly fatal elevator accident. Fearing that he
would not be able to sculpt, far less walk again, di Suvero began working with steel, which he could weld while sitting in a wheelchair. However, through perseverance and determination, di Suvero gradually re-learned to walk, and in 1967 he acquired a crane, which allowed him to work in a more improvisational way and on a larger scale. By this time, di Suvero’s sculpture had been shown at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Jewish Museum in New York, the Rodin Museum in
Paris, and in Los Angeles, where in 1966 he designed and installed the Peace Tower in criticism of US involvement in Vietnam.
Opposed to the war, di Suvero moved to Europe in 1972. There, he continued to work vigorously, with shows at the Stedelijk, Netherlands, 1972; City of Chalon-sur-Saône, France, 1972–74; the Jardin de Tuileries, Paris (where he was the first living artist to be awarded an exhibition); and the Venice Biennale, 1975 (also 1995). In 1975, the year di Suvero returned to the United States, he was honored with a solo museum show at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art,
which included the exhibition of his sculpture citywide. Also in 1975, di Suvero co-founded the not-for-profit Athena Foundation that provided artists with working space and grants to create large-scale sculptures, and brought art to the community at large with the founding of Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City.
Mark di Suvero’s numerous exhibitions worldwide include the Sydney Biennale, 1976; Akira Ikeda Gallery in Yokosuka, Japan, 1987 and 1991; Valence and Nice, France in 1990 and 1991; Institut Valencia d’Aart Modern, Spain in 1994; and in 1998, citywide expositions in Paris and Venice. In 2005-2007, Storm King Art Center in Montainville, New York presented more than 20 of di Suvero’s sculptures in concert with over eighty photographs by Richard Bellamy that had documented the artist’s work. The artist’s sculpture may also be found in an astonishing array of museums, private collections and public sites throughout the world, from the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art; to the Moderna Museet, Stockhom, Sweden; Chalon-sur-Saône, Brest, and Valence in France; and Stuttgart and Bonn in Germany.
Di Suvero currently lives in New York, and maintains studios in New York, California and France.
L.A. Louver is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Validated parking available.