Art@Site Mark di Suvero Shoshone

Mark di Suvero



Citigroup Center
As a special gesture to Los Angeles, this steel beam sculpture shows the letters "L" and "A" from nearly every angle or viewpoint, even from several stories above.
A 45' h abstract sculpture constructed from 13 steel I-beams, "Shoshone" is aligned to frame the Bonaventure Hotel like an easel. Situated on the building's Concourse level, the tall angular sculpture is painted in two tones of red that enhances its visibility from the street.
Born in Shanghai, China, Mark di Suvero is recognized as one of the most important American artists to emerge from the Abstract Expressionist era. The artist did not formally train in sculpture but rather chose to study philosophy receiving his BA from the University of California, Berkeley in 1956. Di Suvero began exhibiting his sculptures in the late 1950s. Works by the artist can be found in numerous public collections including Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Smithsonian Institution; Whitney Museum of American Art; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; National Gallery of Art, Australia; Landeshauptstadt, Stuttgart, Germany; Landesmuseum fur Teknik und Arbeit, Mannheim, Germany; Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, France; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. Mark di Suvero was awarded the 2006 Public Art Network Award by Americans for the Arts.
Marco Polo "Mark" di Suvero (born September 18, 1933 in Shanghai, China) is an abstract expressionist sculptor and 2010 National Medal of Arts recipient.
Marco Polo di Suvero was born to Matilde Millo di Suvero and Vittorio di Suvero (later known as Victor E.), both Italians of Sephardic Jewish descent. Di Suvero was one of four children, the eldest being Victor di Suvero. His father was a naval attaché for the Italian government and the family resided in Shanghai until his father was relocated to Tientsin shortly after the birth of the family's last son in 1936.
With the outbreak of World War II, di Suvero immigrated to San Francisco, California with his family in February 1941 aboard the S.S. President Cleveland.
Di Suvero attended City College of San Francisco from 1953 to 1954, followed by the University of California, Santa Barbara from 1954 to 1955. He began creating sculptures while at UCSB after reflecting that he couldn't make an original contribution in his philosophy major. Under the guidance of Robert Thomas, who allowed di Suvero to take his sculpting course, his work began to flourish. He transferred to the University of California, Berkeley and graduated with a B.A. in philosophy in 1957.
His early works were large outdoor pieces that incorporated wooden timbers from demolition buildings, tires, scrap metal and structural steel. This exploration has transformed over time into a focus on H-beams and heavy steel plates. 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 pioneered the use of a crane as a sculptor's working tool.
His style is associated with the abstract expressionism movement, but directly evokes the spirit of the Russian post-revolution constructivism. Constructivism is strongly associated with concepts of an utopian socialist reconstruction, but came crashing down when the Stalin and Hitler empires failed. Di Suvero is the first artist post-war to revive the constructivist movement. The sculptures can be touched, and they are resistant enough to be climbed on.