Snelson’s sculpture, intended “to unveil the exquisite beauty of structure itself,” is delicately held together by the tension between its rigid pipes and flexible cables; a form of structure which the artist calls “floating compression.”
The work is one of several examples in the collection that expresses Gibbs’ long-standing love of abstract minimalism as well as his passion for the kind of structural problem solving that can, in the best cases, result in elegant form.
Kenneth Snelson was born in Pendleton, Oregon in 1927 and lives and works in New York City. His sculptural works, composed of flexible and rigid components, are arranged according to the idea called by some but not Snelson 'tensegrity'. He studied at the University of Oregon, Black Mountain College, the Chicago Institute of Design, and with Fernand Leger in Paris. In 1994 he was awarded membership to the American
Academy of Arts & Letters. His sculpture and photography has been exhibited in dozens of solo exhibitions around the world including the structurally seminal Park Place Gallery in New York in the 60s; and his works are held in numerous collections including the Art Institute of Chicago, Australian National Gallery, Canberra, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, Metropolitan Museum of Art,
New York, Musée de Grenoble, Grenoble, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo, Rijksmuseum, Staedelijk, Amsterdam, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York and Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany.