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Sea Change

Sea Change

Mark di Suvero is an American abstract expressionist sculptor born in Shanghai, China in 1933. He came to the United States in 1941, and his first port of entry in the United States was San Francisco’s Pier 40. His sculptures are mainly built from indus-trial I-beams that are welded and bolted together. He is a key figure in the development of postwar American sculpture, and his artwork is featured in museums and outdoor public settings around the world.

“Sea Change” was constructed in 1995 as a 70-foot tall, 10-ton, elegant and kinetic sculpture to serve as a gateway to the refurbished South Waterfront of San Francisco. Over years of exposure to direct sunlight, the paint coatings blanched and, in some instances, failed, exposing the metal to the moist, salty sea air by the Bay that allowed corrosion to occur.

ARG Conservation Services worked with San Francisco’s Arts Commission and Redevelopment Agency to provide conserva-tion treatment to the sculpture. Treatment included removal of debris, cleaning all painted surfaces with a metal brush, and applying an epoxy primer and two surface coats to match the artist’s original color. As the sculpture’s size and shape neces-sitates, work was carried out with an aerial boom lift.


Exterior Treatment of a Contemporary Sculpture


San Francisco Arts Commission


San Francisco, California


Public Art, Sculptures