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Taylor Zakarin

Mark di Suvero (American, born Shanghai, China, 1933)
Ad Astra, 2005
Painted steel
Overall: 576 x 306 x 306 inches
Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection


There’s often a debate around NorthPark if Ad Astra, by Mark di Suvero, is red in color, or orange. You know the work – the larger than life, 48-foot tall, steel sculpture that shoots upward from the polished concrete floors in NorthCourt, by AMC. Whether you think the work is orange or red, I think we can all agree that it is a spellbinding, iconic sculpture. Artist Mark di Suvero titled this work Ad Astra, which is a Latin phrase meaning “to the stars.” It’s an aspirational, inspiring piece.

Red  (or orange) I-Beams shoot up in varying directions, drawing ones eye up to NorthPark’s ceiling and the clerestory windows that allow the space to have so much natural light. In NorthCourt, Ad Astra can be viewed from nearly every angle – while walking beside and beneath it on the first level, as well as above it from the second level, highlighting di Suvero’s interest in activating negative or open space and enlivening his viewers’ experience of the work. In fact, the work occupies the space even beyond its physical presence – because of the polished floors and the ubiquitous glass from storefronts and in the NorthPark Cafés, Ad Astra’s reflection is almost omnipresent.

At NorthPark, Ad Astra takes on many roles – a meeting place and landmark, a subject for sketching for visiting art classes, a setting for fashion shows and more. In fact, this weekend we are celebrating Valentine’s Day in NorthCourt with some fun holiday-themed events – Saturday, from 1 – 4PM. Meet me at the red (yes, I think it is red) sculpture?