Mark di Suvero California Sculpture Listed for Removal

Mark di Suvero Sculpture in Venice Beach, California Will Depart This Site Because of Not Enough Money to Keep It There.

Mar 3, 2024By Angela Davic, News, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and Analysis
Mark di Suvero
Declaration Sculpture. Annetta Black, Atlas Obscura.


Mark di Suvero sculpture in Venice Beach, California will depart this site. Overall, this department of a 60-foot-tall steel monument is happening because the artist‘s California gallery was unable to generate sufficient funds to remain open. The installation, titled Declaration, became a trademark feature of the Venice Beach scene. Sadly, it won’t be anymore…


Mark di Suvero Failed to Convince the City to Keep the Statue

Mark di Suvero
Declaration Sculpture. Via Wikipedia


The sculpture weighs 25 tonnes and consists of up of I-beams. They are also carefully engineered against one another in V-shaped configurations. Declaration first went live more than 20 years ago, in 2001, as a loan provided in conjunction with a Venice Family Clinic incentive. Because of this, it never had any plans to continuously stand where it is now. However, because it originally stood near the shoreline, between a skate park and a police station, it became part of the Venice Beach environment.


In 2019, word spread that the monument would leave Venice Beach. The artist in question and his gallery, L.A. Louver, failed several times to convince the City of Los Angeles to purchase the piece. The two had to deal with gathering the finances necessary to maintain the project going. Local publications in Venice Beach reported last week that the Declaration was formally scheduled for deconstruction.


Mark di Suvero
Declaration in Venice Beach. PHOTO JOHN M. HELLER/GETTY IMAGES


The specific date of its removal still needs to be established. According to Kimberly Davis, director of L.A. Louver, the sculpture is now worth $7 million. The artist of the monument will get it back after the process finishes. “I am honored that this sculpture has been embraced by the community of Venice for more than two decades”, the artist said in a statement.

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Not Enough Effort Invested

Declaration at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. Via Wikipedia


He also added: ” I’m grateful that it was on view for so long. Longer than ever intended. Also, that it contributed to the identity of this special place”. The sculpture’s funding continues to be a source of contention. L.A. Louver funded to have it erected in its initial place. However, according to a Los Angeles City Council member mentioned by the New York Times in 2019, the gallery offered the piece to the city.


However, the terms of the donation called for up to $4 million spending in the process. Even after private donors were sought, the city failed to fund the job. L.A. Louver collected less than $2 million in commitments. But, Davis claims that the worth of the effort is less than half. The work is set for deconstructing and delivering in sections to di Suvero’s workshop in Petaluma, California.


Sculptor Mark di Suvero
Sculptor Mark di Suvero outside the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 11 July 1978. Wikipedia


Peter Goulds, founding director of L.A. Louver, said in a statement, “Even though permanent status could not be achieved in its present location, we are honored to have championed this iconic work, a Los Angeles cultural landmark and the focal point of Venice Beach and its Boardwalk. Everywhere Mark goes, he builds community, and his sculptures do the same. We are immensely proud of our long association with Mark, who is one of the greatest American sculptors of our time, and our support for this key work from his career”.

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By Angela DavicNews, Discoveries, In-depth Reporting, and AnalysisAngela is a journalism student at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade and received a scholarship for continued education in Prague. She completed her internship at the daily newspaper DANAS and worked as an executive editor at Talas.