Wednesday was the official unveiling of the new Mark di Suvero ’57 installation in Golden Gate Park, though it wasn’t exactly unviewable before that. After all, it’s hard to hide eight massive steel sculptures sprinkled across Crissy Field. Indeed, a handful of neighbors are reportedly already up in arms about the marring of their view, and their petition to the park office has garnered some 40 signatures.
Which just underscores the adage that everybody’s a critic, or maybe the one about public art being a lightning rod. After all, two weeks ago, di Suvero was awarded a gold medal by the American Academy of Art and Letters for his entire body of work. So far, reviews of the installation have been resoundingly positive. Although he’s best know for his large sculptures, there is a concurrent exhibit of small pieces on view through June 22 at Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco, for those who want to experience both ends of di Suvero’s scale.
If you’re wondering whether the similarity between the Golden Gate Bridge and the sculptures is accidental, the answer is no. When di Suvero’s family came to the U.S., they passed under the bridge and it was love at first sight, as he says in an interview on the SFMoMA website.
The exhibit is presented by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and will be in place through May 26, 2014. It’s the first of SFMoMA’s planned off-site shows over the next couple of years while the museum is closed during construction of a new expansion. Which means plenty more public art for all of us to admire, detest, and bicker over.