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Estimate: $ 5,000 - $ 8,000
KENNETH SNELSON (1927-2016)
Untitled. Stainless steel. 390x410 mm; 16 3/8x16 1/8 inches. Etched with the artist's signature, date and numbered 2/4 on the central vertical element. 1979.
Snelson's sculptural œuvre, characterized by polished steel tubes suspended with cables, was so consistent throughout his forty-year career that his work transcends any one art movement or category. As a young boy in Oregon, Snelson enjoyed building models and replicas, though it was his love of painting that led him to enroll at Black Mountain College in 1948 to study with Josef Albers. Albers recognized and encouraged Snelson's affinity for sculpture before he came under the tutelage of Buckminster Fuller. Fuller inspired Snelson's renewed interest in geometry in structures.
Snelson's earliest sculptures were experiments in the balance between tension and compression. He developed self-supporting structures where each of the objects in the composition were carefully constructed to rely on the assembly as a whole, and not an external prop to maintain integrity. The present work, though mathematical and complex, is comprised of simple components arranged harmoniously in an aesthetic composition. Snelson's sculptures have ranged from monumental towers to small "Atom Sculptures" (Snelson would explore atomic models throughout his career). By the time Zabriskie Gallery showed his work in 1981, Snelson was exhibiting internationally and had won several awards. Zabriskie Gallery continued to exhibit the artist, including his photographic works, in 1986 in New York and Paris and in New York in 1990.