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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Free "Forest Devil" Artist Talk at the Carnegie Tomorrow

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 3:28 PM

Sculptor Kenneth Snelson gives a talk tomorrow at the Carnegie Museum of Art, where his 1977 cables-and-cylinders work "Forest Devil" now resides, after being moved from its longtime spot in Downtown's Mellon Square Park.

Forest Devil, in the rear of the Carnegie Museum of Art
  • "Forest Devil," in the rear of the Carnegie Museum of Art

Snelson will discuss the artistic concept he developed: tensegrity, defined in a 2004 Slate article on Snelson as a system in which “forces simultaneously push and pull against each other to maintain a strong but flexible shape.”

Snelson’s work spans the globe, from major cities like Tokyo, Berlin and Washington D.C., to Columbus, Ohio, and Cedar Hills, Texas. "Forest Devil" was created in Pittsburgh for an art event known as Sculpturescape, which promoted collaboration between local industrial firms and artists who had exhibited around the world. The 1,500-pound sculpture is made from aircraft cables and steel tubes.

Though his work has been compared to that of an engineer, Snelson is careful to assert that his art is separate from engineering.

“Engineers make structures for specific uses, to support something, to hold something, to do something,” he writes on his website. “My sculptures serve only to stand up by themselves and to reveal a particular form such as a tower or a cantilever or a geometrical order probably never seen before; all of this because of a desire to unveil, in whatever ways I can, the wondrous essence of elementary structure.”

Snelson’s talk takes place at the CMA theater at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free.

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