The Museum of Glass
Incidence is a sculpture about the perception of a material—glass. The installation exploits glass and our fascination with its illusive, transformative and dematerializing qualities. The phenomenon of the incidence of ambient light on glass provides an ever changing easel to the sky.
BLACKBIRD IN A RED SKY (A.K.A. FALL OF THE BLOOD HOUSE)
The Museum of Glass
The humanistic referents in Blackbird in a Red Sky, also
known as Fall of the Blood House—African-American history
and the feminine—are important to me. I contemplate how,
in an ostensibly open-ended continuum of received knowledge,
personal narrative and established histories can shape
Fiori di Como
Completed in 1998, “Fiori di Como” is still the largest glass sculpture ever made. It is housed in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was created by the artist Dale Chihuly, built and developed under Philip Stewart’s direction.
Santiago Calatrava S2
Pinwheel built 2 of the 7 sculptures for world renowned architect Santiago Calatrava’s exhibition along the central median on Park Avenue between 52nd and 55th Streets in New York City. The exhibition ran from June 8, 2015 to mid-November 2015.
This work is a prime example of one of Snelson’s tensegrity structures, a word created by the philosopher Buckminster Fuller to describe Snelson’s structural innovation by combining the words “tension” and “integrity.” That combination manifests itself here in webs of stainless steel tubes and cables that are held in highly stressed, structural arrangements through the push-pull balance of compressive forces in the tubes and tension forces in the cables. If Max Bill, the artist and Bauhaus teacher, was right when he claimed that art can greatly evolve from the basis of mathematical thought, then one could assert that the theory and practice by which Snelson has developed his art is the ideal amalgam of science and art, of breathtaking engineering and visionary structural and design purity.
Stainless steel, 389 x 443 x 434 inches
Gift of Fred and Lena Meijer
© Kenneth Snelson.
Sculptor, photographer, and mathematician Kenneth Snelson has commented, “My art is concerned with nature in its most fundamental aspect, the patterns of physical forces in three dimensional space.” B-Tree II is a site-specific commission that while concerned with nature, firmly utilizes geometry, mathematics and engineering in referencing the natural world. Based on patterning systems using the number three and triangles, the colossal structure utilizes the artist’s patented “tensegrity,” wherein the carefully calculated tension of the stainless steel cords locks the tubular elements up and into space. B-Tree II is the largest structure Snelson has created thus far.
stainless steel tubes and aircraft cable
H: 216 x W: 384 x D: 426 in. (548.64 x 975.36 x 182.4 cm)
Gift of the Women’s Committee
Works such as Forest Devil are not made by threading wires through struts or welding components together. Rather, they’re created through an alternating push and pull of struts against tensed wires. This structural principle known as “tensegrity”—an amalgam of “ten- sion” and “integrity” first demonstrated by Snelson and later coined by his then-professor Buckminster Fuller who the artist says appropriated the idea as his own — designates a mutually supportive closed system. But despite their proximity to engineering and mathematics, Snelson says his sculptures are experiential not formulaic.
Weighing in at about 1,500 pounds, Forest Devil is composed of stainless-steel tubes and aircraft cable. Much of the material was donated by Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation as part of a 1978 citywide public arts project that paired internationally recognized artists like Snelson with local industrial manufacturers. The sculpture was also fabricated locally by Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Company and Colonial Machine Company.
New Orleans Museum of Art Sculpture Garden
New Orleans, Louisiana
Patricia Chandler, curator for the collection of New Orleans businessman and philanthropist Sydney Besthoff, who donated “Virlane Tower” and other sculptures to the museum, said restoration is vital because art offers solace in hardship. Admission to the garden is free.