Mark di Suvero

born Shanghai, China 1933
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Also known as
  • Marco Polo di Suvero
  • Mark Shawn di Suvero
Shanghai, China
Active in
  • New York, New York, United States
  • California, United States
  • American

Born in Shanghai to Venetian parents, Marco Polo di Suvero immigrated with his family to the United States when he was eight years old. After studying sculpture and philosophy at the University of California, di Suvero moved to New York City. He drew his inspiration from the Manhattan docks and began using wood and metal from demolition sites to construct his sculpture. In 1960 the artist suffered a broken back and leg in an elevator accident. Doctors said he would never walk, but the determined di Suvero recovered in just four years. While confined to a wheelchair, the artist made small sculptures and learned to use an electric arc welder. Since then he has learned to use the crane and cherry picker, among other tools, to bend steel for his art. Di Suvero designs his sculpture to interact with the elements and with his audiences. He states that we must experience his work, physically and spatially, and he hopes that viewers will climb the beams and ride or push the suspended elements of his sculpture.


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Sculpture Down to Scale: Models for Public Art at Federal Buildings, 1974 – 1985
May 31, 2019November 22, 2020
Artists used preliminary models—or maquettes—to communicate their ideas.