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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Snelson, Kenneth
Culture:American (1927-2016)
Title:Wing 1
Date Made:1992
Type:Sculpture
Materials:Stainless steel; wire
Place Made:North America; United States
Measurements:Overall: 34 1/4 in x 54 3/4 in x 38 in; 87 cm x 139.1 cm x 96.5 cm
Accession Number:  MH 2012.53
Credit Line:Gift of the artist
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Description:
Edition 4.

Label Text:
Wing I exemplifies Kenneth Snelson’s signature approach to sculpture. Constructed with stainless steel pipes and cable, the work is in a perpetual state of balance between the structural integrity of the pipes and the tension of the cable—a concept called “tensegrity.” As one moves around it, the sculpture shifts in endlessly complex ways, but retains its essential harmony from any angle. In this way, the composition is both harmonious and beguiling. One never fully grasps the whole but instead enters into a process of perpetual discovery.

(Sept. 2016)

Wing I exemplifies Kenneth Snelson’s signature approach to sculpture. Constructed with stainless steel pipes and cable, the work is in a perpetual state of balance between the structural integrity of the pipes and the tension of the cable—a concept Snelson called “tensegrity.” Through his union of rigidity and flexibility Snelson is able to “draw” in space, creating tangible forms of immense grace and beauty.

As one moves around it, the sculpture shifts in endlessly complex ways, but retains its essential harmony from any angle; it is characterized by a balanced asymmetry. In this way, the composition is both harmonious and beguiling. We never fully grasp the whole and instead enter into a process of perpetual discovery as we spend time with the work. We move around it and interact with it in the same way we do with all objects in our world—including people. Dance is an appropriate metaphor: Wing 1 leans, stretches, reaches, and compresses in a manner reminiscent of a terrific dancer expressing emotions gently, voicelessly, and with seemingly effortless grace. To be in the presence of this sculpture is to feel first and think second

(2015)

A contemporary sculptor and photographer, Kenneth Snelson creates three-dimensional sculptures composed of flexible and rigid components arranged according to the idea of 'tensegrity'. Shiny metal rods, held together by networks of tensed aluminum wires, climb into the air at improbable angles, with an apparent disregard for gravity. Using scientific principles, he creates elegant and mesmerizing works of art that portray the physical world in new and unexpected ways.

(2013)

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