NEW YORK, NY.- The Paula Cooper Gallery
presents Little Dancer, a new large-scale steel sculpture by Mark di Suvero. The work is an assemblage of intersecting l-beams and carved kinetic spirals. It is being exhibited for the first time beginning May 4 at 534 West 21st Street.
Mark di Suvero was given his first retrospective exhibition in 1975 at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In addition to countless museum shows, di Suvero has had acclaimed citywide exhibitions in Nice (1991), Venice (1995, on the occasion of the 46th Venice Biennale) and Paris (1997). In 2011, eleven monumental works were installed on Governors Island in New York Harbor, the largest outdoor exhibition of work in New York since the 1970s. That same year di Suvero received the National Medal of Arts, the nations highest honor given to artists.
On May 22, 2013 the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art will open a major outdoor exhibition of Mark di Suvero's works at historic Crissy Field, a former airfield and military base near the Golden Gate Bridge. The works will remain on view through May 16, 2014. A number of di Suvero sculptures are permanently installed at the Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, New York, a sculpture park that has also organized important exhibitions of the artists work in 1985, 1995-96, 2005-6 and 2008. Di Suvero lives and works in New York.
Born in Shanghai, China in 1933, Mark di Suvero emigrated to the U.S. in 1941 and settled in San Francisco. He graduated with a degree in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1957. In 1960, early in his artistic career, di Suvero was paralyzed in a near fatal accident while working part-time for a construction company. While in a wheelchair, he mastered a welding technique that allowed him to begin making sculptures in steel.
While the artist has lived and worked in New York since 1957, he has never lost sight of his connection to the Bay Area, maintaining a second studio in Petaluma. Local institutions, including the City of San Francisco, Fine Arts Museums, Oakland Museum of California, and SFMOMA, have collected his work. At SFMOMA, di Suvero's Ferro (197882) is in the permanent collection and currently on view in the museum's Rooftop Garden; four di Suvero sculptures are also a part of the Fisher Collection. Other works currently on view in the Bay Area include Pax Jerusalem (1999), installed at the Legion of Honor; Sea Change (1995) at South Beach Park near the AT&T Stadium; and Miwok (198182) at Stanford University's School of Medicine Dean's Lawn.
di Suvero's works have been shown in many galleries and museums in the U.S., Europe, Asia, and Australia since the 1960s. His work has also been featured in a series of major outdoor exhibitions in cities since the early 1970s, including in 1975 the first exhibition of a living artist at the Tuilleries in Paris and then a citywide exhibition presenting work in all five boroughs in New York City. Later shows were presented in Stuttgart, Germany; Valence, France; Nice, France; Venice, Italy; Paris, France; and most recently on Governors Island in New York City, presented by the Storm King Art Center and organized in conjunction with The Trust for Governors Island. In the U.S., cities with permanent installations of di Suvero sculptures include Baltimore, Dallas, Grand Rapids, Houston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, St. Louis, San Francisco, South Bend, and Toledo.
di Suvero has also largely been active in public art projects and supporting the cultural community. He was one of the co-founders of the Park Place Gallery, which opened in 1963 as a cooperative space where works of emerging artists were shown, and in 1977 he founded the Athena Foundation, helping artists achieve their creative goals. In 1986, he created the Socrates Sculpture Park, where he and a coalition of community members and artists transformed an abandoned landfill in Queens into an exhibition space and studio for artists, as well as a park for community residents. In 2006, di Suvero received the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities for his contributions to American culture through his artwork, his commitment to helping other artists, and his creation of new venues for the visual arts. In 2011, President Obama honored di Suvero with the 2010 National Medal of the Arts; the president commended his work for its ability to portray both social and political vision.