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Installation view of Kenneth Snelson

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Kenneth Snelson

Saturday, September 12, 1981
Sunday, November 8, 1981

The art of Kenneth Snelson (American, born 1927–2016) is concerned with nature in its primary aspect: the patterns of physical forces in three-dimensional space. This exhibition was the first major retrospective of the artist's work in the United States. It was organized by Albright-Knox Chief Curator Douglas G. Schultz and featured more than 60 works that traced the artist's distinctive sculptural style as it evolved into a three-dimensional idiom that defies classification within any contemporary art movement.

Visitors at the Members’ Preview for Kenneth Snelson on September 11, 1981

Visitors at the Members’ Preview for Kenneth Snelson on September 11, 1981. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Visitors at the Members’ Preview for Kenneth Snelson on September 11, 1981

Visitors at the Members’ Preview for Kenneth Snelson on September 11, 1981. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson

Installation view of Kenneth Snelson. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Some of Snelson's sculptures were installed outdoors on the Albright-Knox’s campus and more than 30 of his smaller works—six drawings, 12 panoramic photographs and models, and drawings for Portrait of an Atom—were installed inside the museum. The artist attended the Members' Preview  and conducted a taped interviewed with Schultz for the Video Vasari archive.

After opening at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and its presentation in Buffalo, the exhibition traveled to the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston, Texas.

Exhibition Sponsors

The exhibition was sponsored by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.

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