Iconic Mark di Suvero Sculpture in Venice Beach Is Officially Slated for Removal

A beloved 60-foot-tall steel sculpture by Mark di Suvero will officially depart Venice Beach, California, after the artist’s Californian gallery failed to raise enough money to keep it there. wargaqq

The work, titled Declaration, has become an iconic part of the Venice Beach landscape. Weighing in at 25 tons, it is composed of I-beams that are delicately balanced against one another in V-shaped arrangements.

Declaration was initially installed more than 20 years ago, in 2001, as a loan made in tandem with a Venice Family Clinic benefit, so it was never intended to be permanently sited where it is today. But because it has been located for so long near the boardwalk, between a skate park and a police station, it has been integrated into the Venice Beach landscape.

Word that the sculpture may leave Venice Beach was first heard in 2019, when di Suvero and his gallery L.A. Louver failed multiple times to get the City of Los Angeles to acquire the piece. The two were charged with raising the funds needed to keep the work there. wargaqq

Local outlets in Venice Beach reported this week that Declaration was officially slated for removal, an exact date for which has not yet been determined. The sculpture, now worth $7 million, according to L.A. Louver director Kimberly Davis, is set to be returned to di Suvero himself.

“I am honored that this sculpture has been embraced by the community of Venice for more than two decades,” di Suvero said in a statement to ARTnews. “I’m grateful that it was on view for so long—longer than ever intended—and that it contributed to the identity of this special place.”

The funding for the sculpture has routinely been a sticking point. L.A. Louver paid for it to be installed in the first place, but according to a Los Angeles City Council member quoted by the New York Times in 2019, the gallery had offered the work to the city, but the terms for the donation would’ve required as much as $4 million to be spent in the process. Even after private donors were sought, the city could not afford the work.

Per Yo! Venice!, L.A. Louver had raised less than $2 million in pledges—which is less than half of the work’s value, according to Davis. Now, the work will be disassembled and sent back in pieces to di Suvero’s studio in Petaluma, California.

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.” wargaqq


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