Mark di Suvero
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Mark di Suvero was born on September 18, 1933, in Shanghai. In 1941 he moved with his family to San Francisco. From 1954 to 1956 he attended the University of California, first in Santa Barbara and then in Berkeley, during which time he began painting and sculpting. In 1957 he moved to New York, where he discovered Abstract Expressionism, joined the cooperative March Gallery, and exhibited pieces in plaster and wax. In 1959 he began to make sculptures out of wood from demolished buildings. The following year, while working in construction to support himself financially, he was involved in a serious jobsite accident that left him critically injured. In 1963 he was a founding member of the Park Place Gallery. In 1964 di Suvero made his first outdoor sculpture. Three years after learning how to use a crane, lifting platform, torch, and welder, he created his first large outdoor crane-assisted all-steel piece, Are Years What? (for Marianne Moore).
In 1971 he left the United States for Europe due to his opposition to the Vietnam War. He had a solo exhibition at the Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum and in gardens around the city of Eindoven the following year, and in 1975 he was the first living artist to exhibit in the Jardin des Tuileries in Paris. With peace in Vietnam that year, di Suvero returned to the United States. On his return, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York held a retrospective of his work, which was installed throughout the city. In 1977 he founded the Athena Foundation, an association that helps artists to create monumental sculpture, and Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York. Di Suvero received the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center in 2000, and in 2005 he was presented with the Heinz Award in the Arts and Humanities. Di Suvero lives and works in New York; Petaluma, California; and Chalon-sur-Saône, France.