Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu

1991
Artist
Mark di Suvero, American, 1933-
Born: Shanghai, China
Work Locations: Long Island City, NY
Country
United States
sculpture
Painted steel
Funds from NBT Foundation, Jan and Frederick Mayer by exchange, and Friends of Modern & Contemporary Art
1996.11A-Q

Mark di Suvero
Lao Tzu, 1991
Painted steel
Funds from NBT Foundation, Jan and Frederick Mayer by exchange, and friends of Modern & Contemporary Art, 1996.11

Inscription
not signed
Department
Modern and Contemporary Art
Collection
Modern and Contemporary Art
Located in the Hamilton Plaza, Mark di Suvero’s soaring outdoor sculpture, "Lao-Tzu," was not enlarged from a maquette, nor was it fabricated in a foundry. Instead, the artist purchased the materials necessary to realize his vision and began to build it. Using a construction crane and a platform capable of raising him thirty feet, he assembled sixteen and a half tons of steel I-beams and sheet-metal arcs. For four years, he rearranged these components in his Long Island City studio until he was satisfied. In 1995, the Denver Art Museum purchased "Lao-Tzu" and over the next months, the artist and several assistants disassembled the work, painted each element “carnival orange” to achieve maximum contrast with Denver’s blue skies, and shipped it to Colorado on a flat-bed truck, where it was resurrected in three days. Di Suvero names all of his works after musicians, poets, artists, or good friends. "Lao-Tzu" takes its name from the Chinese philosopher-poet who founded Taoism in the sixth century B.C. Like the Taoist yin-yang, "Lao-Tzu" suggests a union of opposites, of forms and voids.

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