Monday, February 5, 2007

Metal sculpture by Kenneth Snelson

Kenneth Snelson creates his airy sculptures from metal. His structures are not hard joined but exist due to tension of individual elements. A term tensegrity was suggested structures of this type as combination of two words tension and integrity. Kenneth Snelson describes tensegrity as "a closed structural system composed of a set of three or more elongate compression struts within a network of tension tendons, the combined parts mutually supportive in such a way that the struts do not touch one another, but press outwardly against nodal points in the tension network to form a firm, triangulated, prestressed, tension and compression unit."

Cutting a wire in a tensegrity structure causes a major deformation or collapse.

Using principle of tensegrity he created many towers and other sculptures from aluminium and steel. You can see two photos of 60 feet high sculpture "Needle Tower" which was created in 1968. To the right is the front view of the tower and below is view from the basis of the tower.

Kenneth Snelson was born in Pendleton (Oregon, USA) in 1927. Educated in University of Oregon and Chicago Institute of Design. He had took part in many personal and grouped shows. His sculptures are in many collections and museums.

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