Internationally renowned sculptor Mark di Suvero was born in Shanghai, China, in 1933. He immigrated to the United States in 1941 and received a BA in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. Di Suvero began showing his sculpture in the late 1950's and is one of the most important American artists to emerge from the Abstract Expressionist era. A pioneer in the use of steel, di Suvero is without peer in the exhibition of public sculpture worldwide. Mark di Suvero's architectural-scale sculptures - many with moving elements that invite viewer participation - have been exhibited in the United States, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Germany, Australia, Japan and the United Kingdom. Di Suvero is the first living artist to exhibit in Le Jardin de Tuileries and Les Esplanades des Invalides in Paris and at Millennium Park-Chicago. His work is in over 100 museums and public collections including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center, and Storm King Art Center where he has had three major exhibitions.
Mark di Suvero is a lifelong activist for peace and social justice, and has demonstrated a generous commitment to helping artists. In 1962, he co-founded Park Place Gallery, the first artists' cooperative in New York City. In 1977, he established the Athena Foundation to assist artists to realize their ambitions. In 1986, he established Socrates Sculpture Park at the site of a landfill on the East River in Queens, New York. Through his leadership, a 4.5 acre parcel was transformed by a coalition of artists and community members into an open studio and exhibition space. To date, the park has hosted the work of over 900 artists.
Di Suvero received the Lifetime Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture from the International Sculpture Center in 2000 and the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities in 2005. In 2010, di Suvero was a recipient of the Smithonian Archives of American Art Medal, as well as the National Medal of the Arts. In 2013, di Suvero received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Sculpture.
Socrates Sculpture Park was an abandoned riverside landfill and illegal dumpsite until 1986 when a coalition of artists and community members, under the leadership of Mark di Suvero, transformed it into an open studio and exhibition space for artists and a neighborhood park for local residents. Today it is an internationally renowned outdoor museum and artist residency program that also serves as a vital New York City park offering a wide variety of public services. Over 800 artists have exhibited at Socrates since it opened. In addition, Socrates serves thousands of children and adults each year with free innovative and inspiring educational programming, community celebrations, an annual film series and exercise programs.
Visit Socrates Sculpture Park's website at www.socratessculpturepark.org
In 1989, Mark di Suvero and Marcel Evrard created La Vie des Formes, an international yard for creative experimentation in France. From 1989-2002, artists from all over the world were given residencies at the french studio of Mark di Suvero on the grounds of the COMEF shipyard in Chalon-sur-Saone, France. The project is no longer active.