Lesson: Creating 3-D Objects - Atman

This lesson provides students with an exploration of plane shapes and solid objects based on the lines and shapes of Atman, a three-dimensional abstract sculpture by Mark di Suvero. Students will learn to recognize shapes and objects from different positions. Students will build shapes and then working in small groups, students will combine their shapes into three dimensional objects.

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Mark di Suvero (b. 1933)

Mark di Suvero

United States

Atman 1978-79

Corten Steel, steel, steel cable, California redwood

408 x 9, 144 x 468 in

The Edwin and Virginia Irwin Memorial, 1986.36

Born in Shanghai to Italian parents, Mark di Suvero moved to San Francisco in 1941. He attended the University of California, Berkeley studying art and philosophy. After arriving in New York City in 1957, he was in a serious accident, which ultimately led him to becoming an arc welder in rehabilitation. His first show in 1959 brought critical acclaim and he is now known as one of the leading contemporary sculptors in the U.S. His work consists mainly of large-scale sculptures that incorporate steel I-beams, chains, cables, and wood.

The Cincinnati Art Museum's sculpture, Atman, was installed in 1985 and is the first piece of art seen by our visitors. Its abstract form is constructed of Corten steel, steel, steel cable, and California redwood. The redwood provides a swinging platform for visitors to lie on and look up at the awesome three-sided structure. Originally Atman was rust-colored, but in 1988 was painted red, which is how you will find it today. In 2008, the sculpture was completely dismantled, re-painted, outfitted with new bolts and screws then put back together.

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Cincinnati Art MuseumSouthwest Ohio Center for Excellence of Science and Mathematics Education