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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.

Throwback Thursday: Kenneth Snelson in 1981

August 17, 2017

Artist Kenneth Snelson’s first American retrospective transformed the Albright-Knox’s campus between September 12 and November 8, 1981. In addition to a selection of the artist’s large-scale sculptures outside, over thirty of Snelson’s smaller works and a selection of the artist’s drawings and photographs were on view inside the museum. 

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.

In the early 1960s, Snelson began connecting aluminum or stainless steel tubes with lengths of cable or thread. Based on careful mathematical calculations that took into account forces of tension and compression, the artist created dynamic self-contained structures from the connected tubes. 

 

Kenneth Snelson's Coronation Day, 1980, installed in the City Court Plaza on Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo

Kenneth Snelson's Coronation Day, 1980, installed in the City Court Plaza on Niagara Square in downtown Buffalo. Image courtesy of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery Digital Assets Collection and Archives, Buffalo, New York.

Four Chances

Kenneth Snelson (American, 1927–2016). Four Chances, 1982. Steel and cable, 115 x 138 x 96 inches (292.1 x 350.5 x 243.8 cm). Collection Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, New York; George B. and Jenny R. Mathews Fund, 1982. © 1982 Kenneth Snelson

Prior to the exhibition, Snelson’s Coronation Day, 1980, was commissioned by the City of Buffalo and installed in City Court Plaza on Niagara Square, and today the artist's Four Chances, 1982, can be found outside near the museum’s entrance. We invite you to explore Four Chances and the other sculptures on the Albright-Knox’s campus anytime, whether you decide to come inside the museum or not. Learn more

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