Late this summer, Tom Hanafan Rivers Edge Park in Council Bluffs will become home to an approximately 65-foot-high steel sculpture by Mark di Suvero (American, born Shanghai, 1933) commissioned by the Iowa West Foundation as part of its Iowa West Public Art program. Like his other large-scale works, di Suvero designed this new project to engage the physical context of its site. Responding to both the natural setting of the park and the impressive architectural design of the nearby Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, the sculpture will breathe life into a previously unused tract of land along the Missouri River.
To celebrate the upcoming installation of the new sculpture, Joslyn Art Museum
presents this exhibition of di Suveros work, including drawings related to the commission and a selection of his lively prints and sculptures created since 1970. Mark di Suvero: Tom Hanafan Rivers Edge Park opened at Joslyn on June 7 and continues through September 7. The exhibition is included in free general Museum admission.
Funded by the Iowa West Foundation, recommended by the City Public Art Commission, and approved by the Council Bluffs City Council, the di Suvero public art was announced early last year. Some preliminary base work has begun, and the sculpture installation is scheduled for later in the summer.
Mark di Suvero immigrated to the United States from China with his parents in 1941 and was raised in San Francisco. In the shadow of the Golden Gate Bridge, the young artist had his first dreams of creating sculptures out of steel, a material that would become his signature medium. Featuring simple geometric forms, bold lines, and bright colors, di Suveros sculptures carefully articulate the tension between their perceived lightness and flexibility and the weight and strength of their materials.
Mark di Suvero: Tom Hanafan Rivers Edge Park celebrates the artists unparalleled contribution to contemporary American sculpture. Bringing together gallery-sized sculptures and works on paper, the exhibition illuminates di Suveros deft handling of his chosen medium, as well as his whimsical approach to form and color. Highlights of the exhibition include six mixed media drawings that relate specifically to the Iowa West commission. Serving as both preparatory sketches and independent creative pursuits, these drawings reflect the dynamism of the monumental steel sculpture that will soon preside over the Missouri River.