The Sieve of Eratosthenes

Mark Di Suvero’s The Sieve of Eratosthenes was added to the university’s outdoor art collection in 2000 by Daniel Shapiro and Agnes Gund. It was originally sited on the north side of the Cantor Arts Center and was recently moved near the intersection of Escondido and Galvez Mall by Meyer Library.

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The new location puts The Sieve of Eratosthenes in greater student traffic. The sculpture invites viewers to experience its form from all sides and even underneath. This does not, however, condone the following:


hammock No hammocks on the sculpture!


In spite of the sculpture’s powerful forms and seeming imperviousness of its I-beams, the sculpture is still susceptible to degradation. In addition to looking fantastic, the paint and primer layers protect the underlying steel from corrosion. When vandalism occurs to the paint surface, the steel is exposed to the environment and leads to rust.

The outdoor sculpture team works hard all year long to care for Stanford’s sculptures, so do your part! If you are trying to get your work done or “play” around the sculpture, try also to take a few minutes to contemplate the beauty of its forms and how this reflects Di Suvero’s perception of reality. Think about the enormity of the feat that brought such a massive object into existence. Let this object inspire whatever non-vandalizing activity you are engaged in!



2 responses to “The Sieve of Eratosthenes

  1. The image of a hammock roped to the sculpture shows the popular notion that art is interactive. The masses are used to going to museums that have turned into community centers where children are free to create art, post post it note comments near art and generally be hands on and playing artist. This is OK up to a point, but his example shows an ignorance of what art is and an unconscious lack of respect. Often fences are used to prevent this, it is unfortunate.


    “di Suvero’s sculptures are open and interactive. People are invited to scale and even to ride on some works.”

    From the artist himself: “What I consider my diploma is a photograph of a couple making love on the swinging bed. That piece, which was at Cranbrook, proves that there can be a kind of linked relationship of motion with a sculpture and a blossoming of the human erotic imaginative impulse.”

    The artist wants people to play on his sculptures. These people are not ignorant, they are enjoying his art the way he wanted his art enjoyed.

    Please make sure you are informed before judging others.

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