While installation of the yearlong exhibition is still underway, the fences around the works won’t be removed until May 18, and the official opening isn’t until May 22, the first couple of Mark di Suvero’s works have been constructed down on Crissy Field:

Presented by SFMOMA in partnership with the National Park Service and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the exhibition will be on view through May 26, 2014.

53 thoughts on “Mark Di Suvero’s Sculptures Are Going Up Down On Crissy Field”
  1. Hopefully, it’s only tempoary. It’s ruining an amazing view. I think it would fit better somewhere along the Embarcadero.

  2. ah yes, yet more praise for the mediocrity of a man who learned most of his tricks from Alexander Calder. Suvero earns respect for all the hard work he did in the NYC scene, but he’ll never produce a ‘Flamingo’
    This is why SF stays in the third tier: we get a fiberglass bow and arrow by a guy who had his heyday in 1968, and Chicago gets Kapoor.

  3. SF’s art scene is definitely a bit behind and the public art, as it is in most cities, is way, way behind. Esp this iron girder shit.
    I’m not sure if these pieces are supposed to be seen as ironic, or are just untimely and out of place.
    A) It looks like a pile of debris from the Presidio Parkway project
    B) It looks like its attempting to marry with the GG Bridge, via color and materials…which doesn’t work imo.

  4. Surely, these are just the skeletal structures for what will soon hold up a beautiful art piece. Right? :-/

  5. Same sculptor who did the red I-beam sculpture at the Legion of Honor fountain, and the red I-beam sculpture at the South Beach marina.

  6. Looks like leftover construction equipment. Agree with previous commenters that this is just compromising the fantastic views.
    Better to take the funds used for this and use it to clean up the filth the homeless leave in their wake across most of the city.

  7. the pictures are outrageous. my only relief is reading the gallows humor.
    I wonder if it will be the same, worse or slightly better in person.
    I just did an image search on mark di suvero. so many examples!
    I had to click back and forth between the piece on governor’s island and this one, trying to suss out the difference.
    I would say, with my head drooping, that the piece is very san francisco.
    (btw – mention of the bow and arrow on embarcadero makes my blood boil).

  8. I was wondering what was going on/up, thought it was something burning man related. Only one was up when I was there, but I liked it a lot.

  9. I like this artist, but I’m very disappointed by the location. I agree with the above poster- it ruins the view ,especially from the jogging/ cycling path. Happy it’s temporary

  10. Of ALL locations why? One of the world’s most spectacular iconic views has to be “enhanced” by THIS?

  11. I guess since he went to City College he gets some local props? Never really understood all the love for this guys work. Not that visually compelling for me. It’s big and… aaaaand… I got nothin’. It’ll be fine since it’s temporary.

  12. with all the fantastic shapes to riff off of: the arch of the gate, the streamers of fog, the history of seaplanes at crissy, we get this?
    I hope the artist at least paid for the use of the real estate, like Lucas is doing.

  13. A year of this? It’s so generic and lacks any sense of ambition or visual interest. I have see this type of sculpture so many times before in Anywhere USA. We can and should do so much better. Hide this somewhere in the depths of Golden Gate Park perhaps…Actually it would look great in one of those malls in Daly City. We are so far behind NY, CHI and LA with respect to public art.

  14. That last pic is a painful reminder of how art and architecture have devolved over the past 80 years.

  15. Magnificent. Thanks SS for letting us know about this, will definitely get down there to see these.
    Sad to read all of the negative posts. Di Suvero is anything but generic; he’s unmistakeable and a seminal poet of the Bay Area.

  16. The landscape, the shore, the views, the sound of the waves, birds and wind, this is what the art of Crissy Field is all about. Go down on a weekday to hear the beep beep beep of the construction equipment installing this “art”. Anyone who uses the bike/jogging path can tell you the majority of people coming to this area are tourists from around the world drawn to the natural beauty of this spot. This just ruins it for me.
    There is a historic context to Crissy Field, both with the adjacent Presidio, and the recently restored wetlands and shoreline, so WHY now alter all this work to get everything right by installing pieces that for me at least get everything wrong?
    Why could these not be placed in some temporary unused lot down in Mission Bay or unused dock area?

  17. Junk! Plus it really obstructs the views in that area, really makes Crissy Field looks like a junk yard.

  18. It’s either a powerful statement on man’s inhumanity to man, or maybe it’s a pile of scrap metal.
    I’m pretty sure it’s one of the two.

  19. It is funny, the Marina NIMBYs are so anti-everything they even hate it when public art is installed in “their” park.
    Real cities live and grow and change guys. If you don’t change you either end up like Venice, a living art museum, or Detroit, a shell of what once was.
    Plus this is temporary, it goes away in a year. I bet by then you will miss it.

  20. Well, further evidence abounds here: everyone’s a critic! Personally, I dig this, and love the juxtaposition. Super excited to see these go up, can appreciate them in their own right, and have an additional reason to get over to this already-special corner of town.

  21. Crissy Field is not a “park”. It is part marine sanctuary, coastal wetland and “environmental showcase” (N.Y.Times) of native plants, birds and protected species. I was involved, starting in 2001, with volunteering to return this area to the landscape we see today along with many of my neighbors. Rather than “Nimbyism”, we were part of the CHANGE of taking what was former parking lots and military air strip pavements and creating the landscape we now have.
    May I suggest a visit to the Crissy Field Visitors Center to learn about this unique resource, and why it is not a “park” the way Dolores Park or Union Square is.

  22. Yea, anon94123 we get it, through your three postings, you do not like anyone interfering with your idea of public space.
    The huge grassy field must violate your “environmental showcase” mentality too;
    and clutch-pearls for all the humanity visiting your private environmental oasis, Chrissy Field.
    It’s a temporary art installation, geez.

  23. I am down at this park every day with my dog and am so angered by these structures. The Bay and the Bridge are art in-and-of themselves and these structures are entirely out of place. They are gigantic eye sores and I am saddened to have to look at them over the next year. I am an art lover and an artist myself but EIGHT of these seems excessive and a obstruction to the beautiful scenery.
    p.s. I agree with another poster, I thought they were beams from the section of the bridge being torn down.
    p.p.s. I believe that anything that changes the dynamic of a park to this scale should be run by the community who actually USES the park.

  24. FWIW, NIMBY’s were calling the GGB an eyesore back when it was built. There is a plaque in the parking lot for the visitor’s center, IIRC, stating that there were several thousand lawsuits to prevent it from being built and spoiling the view.

  25. As a lover of modern art and a card-carrying regular of Crissy Field I gotta say this project is a travesty. You couldn’t pick a worse venue for Suvero’s work.
    This work has no context on the Crissy green – it just appears like an unfinished construction project.
    This weekend passers-by were completely flummoxed by the sight. Is this an art installation? Did they break ground on a new restaurant or souvenir shop? Is this a worksite? If so, where is everybody?
    This is an exercise in astoundingly poor taste. This work is dated, it has nothing to say about today and it’s a blight on one of SFs greatest treasures.

  26. I will not get wordy on this. I do not like the sculptures. More importantly, they are intrusive to the beauty of the breathtaking views from Crissy Field. Was it not the purpose and intention of the parks department to restore this area to it’s inherent natural splendor. In a word…mistake

  27. I’m not sure why the current administration of the GGNRA is so adamant about jamming thumbtacks in our eyes. Rising on Crissy Field is only the most recent malignity, a once serene, eye-easing expanse of green that is now littered with garish tank traps called modern* sculpture from SFMOMA.
    In the parlance of my time in grad school in Art, we are meant to consider the artist’s intent when evaluating a piece. In this case I suspect the artist wished to overawe the viewer with scale and astound them with the suspension of giant pieces of steel in addition to some commentary on the… fill in the blank. I’m sure the artist is pleased with the attention from such a grand setting but what they have achieved instead is to be framed by infinitely larger pieces that perform true miracles of engineering, the two bridges: the Golden Gate and the new Bay Bridge. The artist’s work is dwarfed and derivative. With any luck they will be magnets for taggers to complete the awfulness.
    Consider too the aesthetics of the visitor center at Land’s End, a monument to low-bid government contracting, which also obstructs a once handsome vista had by walking, biking, driving the big curve above Cliff House. Now there is a sharp cornered bunker of concrete which is apparently meant to complement the Stalinist cement walls lining the walks, a most fulsome echo of the historic artillery emplacements that erupt like tombstones in the forest, all fear and menace. Rather than entwine the city in the matrix of Nature**, our planners keep putting up concertina wire on our consciousness, squeezing us with the urban insult of bone-cracking materials and right angles.
    * how is it something 46 years old is “modern”?
    **a la the Academy of Science

  28. It seem rather odd that anyone can post positive comments about the SFMOMA expansion or even the design of the Warrior’s arena and then not like Di Suvero’s work.

  29. … or you could just wait a year and it will be removed as planned. Remember, this is just a temporary installation.

  30. Ugly sculptures! They look like oil rigs & they are a blight on the landscape. They do such an injustice to the beauty of the bay & the Golden Gate Bridge. Crissy Field should be a natural place to revel in the beautiful views of the bay with the GG Bridge as it’ s crowning glory. Please remove these atrocious obstructions! Who’s idea was this & why was there no public input?

  31. I am a frequent user of this beautiful park now blighted by this hideous eyesore. With dismay I watched the installation by heavy cranes – What a waste of precious time and resources that could otherwise be devoted to doing something useful on the planet. This so-called art elicits nothing but anger and contempt.

    This is the letter i sent him, let your voices be heard, and contact GGNRA too!
    I find DiSuvero’s sculptures terrifically offensive, and was horrified as I watched them being erected over the past weeks.
    Considering the Presidio’s mission of beautifying Crissy Field, these towers of metal do just the opposite- they distract from the natural beauty of the area, which otherwise offers uniquely unobstructed views of the bridge- the sculptures are nothing but an eye sore, and now that unobstructed landscape is ruined.
    It was bad enough seeing the one erected outside of the Legion of Honor (so ill placed) and now they are all over Crissy Field?!
    Maybe one sculpture might have been tolerable, but so many??!!
    My only relief was to initially hear that they were temporary installations.
    But this past Sunday’s article in Datebook had a closing comment referencing DiSuvero’s 80th gift being a sculpture park, and that “This could become it”.
    Does the public not have any say in this?
    I beseech the Presidio and GGNRA to give this thorough consideration before littering our beautiful Crissy Field with monstrosities of metal beams and balls. There is absolutely nothing beautiful in this tonnage of metal and it is a sad interruption of one of the most beautiful landscape views in the world.

  33. I told Kenneth Baker [huge fan of this junk] that all it lacks is a junkyard dog…..He suggested I might be that dog, but with his critical record I think he should get the job. Heck, he probably adores Jeff Koons!

  34. The funny thing about controversial art is that:
    – if people love it, they’ll say it’s a proof it reached out into people’s psyches.
    – if people hate it, they’ll say it’s supposed to be hated because it is provocative.
    Heads I win, tails you lose. The one who really matters is the guy who writes the taxpayer-backed checks.

  35. ^in a reductive Captain Obvious”water is wet” sense, sure. But the question about the site being appropriate or not remains …

  36. It is not about whether the art is good or bad, but instead it is about the LOCATION. It is not NIMBY to say that some places are so beautiful they stand on their own merit without need for additional visual distractions. What if these were placed in front of the view of “Postcard Row” on Alamo Square? How would neighbors nearby like to see 2 months of digging, concrete and steel trucks, torn up grass, and fenced off areas during installation?
    Crissy Field just went through a multi-year transformation to remove structures, old roads and parking lots so that we could create a natural preserve for everyone. New pedestrian walkways and bike paths were created with viewpoints and interpretive signage to help visitors discover the unique ecology of this park. Now SFMOMA wants this to become a permanent “art park” with new yearly installations.
    For those of you who do not use Crissy Field or live nearby, the construction and installation of these pieces has created massive interventions into the newly established landscape that has proven to be beneficial to coastal birds and other creatures. I have yet to see the construction equipment paths used to move these installations repaired.
    What is the point of a natural coastal preserve if every year we are going to have new dirt roads, large construction equipment, and relocated walking and bike paths during installation?

  37. Couldn’t agree more with “AnotherPlacePlease” … While the aesthetic value of installation art is subjective, these “sculptures” destroy the harmony in what was, previously, a gorgeous vista. The entire point of the renovation of that area was to display THE VIEWS of the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay/headland and islands as seen across a green expanse. This was like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa. Unreal!

  38. I was all outraged after reading most of the negative posts here, but just got down there for the first time since these went up and though “…eh, not bad.” The scale of Crissy Field swallows up even big pieces like these, and they do add an interesting visual element along with the construction Doyle Drive. I was surprised how interesting (and small) these looked from the overlook above Fort Point -really diminished by the overall scale of the view toward the Bay and the City, and they added some visual interest to the uninterrupted green of the great lawn. Once down on the field, I realized I could choose to engage with the sculptures – some had some interesting movement features and shapes, some I didn’t like – or just go to bayside path and turn my back on them and take in the view toward the bridge and the bay. Also, they were spaced far enough apart that you aren’t confronted with all of them except from a few positions. Made me realize Crissy Field is not one monolithic viewscape that has been desecrated. It offers a whole host of views depending on where you stand.
    I’m glad they are going away after a year, but am no longer offended they were put there in the first place. They did what good temporary public art does – makes you reconsider a familiar context. My friend (who is an artist herself) and I got into a great discussion of the juxtaposition of industrial and natural, seeing the sculptures in the context of the Presidio buildings, the GG Bridge and the old Doyle Drive.
    As they say, “relax Francis” – it is only temporary.

  39. Aesthetic opinion aside, public art installations have social responsibilities. This particular work, in that particular location, is highly inappropriate.
    The bombastic official praise of this work stands as evidence of how defensive the installers must be. I have enjoyed certain examples of minimal and reductive sculpture (i.e., Alexander Calder, David Smith and, maybe, maybe … sometimes, even Richard Serra). However, the paucity of form in Di Suvero’s work is unbearable, and at 40′ high, [x] tons, x 8 in Crissy Field?

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