The sculpture that Mark di Suvero began to make in the late 1950s consisted of massive, weathered timbers and found objects such as barrels, chains, or tires. Their dramatically cantilevered forms were seen as sculptural equivalents of the bold, gestural paintings of Franz Kline or Willem de Kooning. In the 1960s di Suvero stopped relying on scavenged industrial materials and began to create works from steel beams that he moved with cranes and bolted together to create large outdoor pieces.
Aurora is a tour de force of design and engineering. Its sophisticated structural system distributes eight tons of steel over three diagonal supports to combine massive scale with elegance of proportion. Several of the linear elements converge within a central circular hub and then explode outward, imparting tension and dynamism to the whole. The title, Aurora, comes from a poem about New York City by Federico García Lorca.