PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Fairmount Park Art Association will install Philadelphia’s newest landmark – Iroquois by internationally renowned sculptor Mark di Suvero on June 22, 2007. The monumental 40-foot high, 35,000 pound (17.5 ton) brightly painted steel sculpture will be located along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in a grassy plot across from the Philadelphia Museum of Art near Eakins Oval and Spring Garden Street. “Iroquois is the most prominent and significant contemporary work of art to be permanently located in Fairmount Park,” said Penny Balkin Bach, the Art Association’s Executive Director. “It will be a world-class addition to Philadelphia’s celebrated ‘museum without walls,’ with its robust energy and physical presence that appeals to a wide audience and invites viewers to experience it from multiple angles.”
A public dedication ceremony for Iroquois will be held Wednesday, June 27, 2007 at 4:00 PM at the installation site. A free shuttle will be available from the west entrance of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Di Suvero will be awarded the Art Association’s Medal of Honor, which recognizes outstanding achievement in the field of art through notable public service. Previous recipients include Claes Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, and Isamu Noguchi.
The Fairmount Park Art Association’s 135th Annual Meeting for members, with featured speaker Mark di Suvero, will be held at the Art Museum following the dedication ceremony. Art Association membership can be purchased at www.fpaa.org or by calling 215-546-7550.
The commanding abstract sculpture is formed of steel I-beams painted with brilliant red automotive quality paint, emblematic of the artist’s use of industrial materials. Its location contributes to current efforts to enliven the Parkway and creates a logical transition from the pioneering sculpture at the Rodin Museum to the Art Museum’s forthcoming sculpture garden.
The Art Association has acquired Iroquois with the generous support of art patron and humanitarian David N. Pincus as a gift for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike. The Fairmount Park Art Association will own and maintain the work.
About Mark di Suvero
Mark di Suvero (b. 1933) is considered one of the foremost American sculptors living and working today. He received the Heinz Award for Arts and Humanities and the Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award from the International Sculpture Center. In 1986 he founded Socrates Sculpture Park in New York City to support and exhibit works of contemporary outdoor sculpture by new and emerging artists. His work is currently on permanent and temporary display in cities around the world, including Stockholm, Stuttgart, New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Dallas, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Seattle, and Chicago. Di Suvero was born in Shanghai, China to Italian parents. He emigrated with his family to the U.S. in 1941 and studied at San Francisco City College and the University of California, Berkeley. In 1960 , he suffered a nearly fatal elevator accident, but with strong determination overcame a pessimistic prognosis and from a wheelchair began to master a welding technique that he would later employ in his larger sculptures.
About the Fairmount Park Art Association
Chartered in 1872, the Fairmount Park Art Association is the nation’s first private, non-profit organization dedicated to integrating public art and urban planning. For more than a century, the Art Association has played a leadership role by working with communities and public agencies to commission and place an imposing array of outstanding and beloved works of public art throughout the park and city. The Art Association also cares for a selection of the city’s most prominent public artworks through our award-winning outdoor sculpture conservation program.
The Fairmount Park Art Association thanks Mayor John Street, the Fairmount Park Commission, the Philadelphia Art Commission, the City’s Public Art Program, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Parkway Council Foundation, The Franklin Institute, the Fairmount Civic Association, The Philadelphian Owners’ Association, Center City District, and Councilmen Darrell Clarke and William Greenlee for their help in bringing Iroquois to Philadelphia.