Kenneth Snelson – Father of Tensegrity

 ken_for_webKENNETH SNELSON, Tensegrity definition:


Tensegrity geometry is defined by the equilibrium of tensile and compressive forces and is characterized by having discontinuous compression bars, which remain in equilibrium by tensed cables. The balance is achieved because all the compression and tension forces are perfectly distributed, that is to say they work jointly, where the structural form is guaranteed because the final system is closed and auto-balanced.

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Snelson Tensegrity and Weaving


My art is concerned with nature in its primary aspect, the patterns of physical forces in three dimensional space.


2002 The Elizabeth N. Watrous Prize, National Academy of Design, New York, NY
2001 City of Osaka Civic Enviornment Award, Osaka, Japan
1999 Lifetime Achievment Award, International Sculpture Center, U.S.
1999 Biennial Honoree, Neuberger Mus. of Art, Purchase, NY
1994 Membership, American Academy of Arts & Letters.
1991 American Institute of Architects, Kansas City; Biennial Artist’s Award
1989 Award, Prix Ars Electronia, Linz, Austria.
1987 American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Art Award.
1985 Honorary Doctorate, Arts and Humane Letters Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y.
1981 American Institutes of Architects’ Medal.
1976 DAAD Fellowhship for Berlin Kunstlerprogram
1974-1987 Advisory Board, Public Arts Fund, N.Y.
1974 Reynolds Metal Sculpture Award
1974 National Endowmnt for the Arts and Iowa City Sculpture Competition.
1971 New York State Council on the Arts Sculpture


Dore Ashton, “Jeunes talents de la sculpture Americaine” Aujourd’hui (Paris) Dec.1966/Jan.1967
Gregory Battcock, “Kenneth Snelson, Dialogue between Stress and Tension at Dwan,” Arts Magazine, Feb. 1968
John Coplans, “An Interview with Kenneth Snelson,” Artforum, Mar. 1967
Stephan Kurtz, “Kenneth Snelson: The Elegant Solution,” Art News, October, 1968
Lazlo Glozer, “Structur und Spannung,” Catalogue, Kunstverein, Hannover, April, 1971
Emmie Donadio, “Kenneth Snelson,” Arts Magazine, Feb. 1975
Deborah Perlberg, “Snelson and Structure.” Artforum, May, 1977
“Snelson: tensione e compressione,” Carta Bianca, March, 1978
Howard Fox, “Kenneth Snelson: Portrait of an Atomist,” catalogue, Hirshhorn Museum, 1981
Richard Whelan “Kenneth Snelson: Straddling the abyss between art and science,” Art News, Feb. 1981
Martica Sawin, “Kenneth Snelson: Unbounded Space,” Arts Magazine, September, 1981
Charles Hagen “Full Circle,” Camera Arts, Jan./Feb. 1982
Eleanor Heartney, “Designs on the Universe,” Contemporanea International Art Magazine, April 1990.
Joelle Bentley, “Art/Science, Science/Art,” Print magazine, May/June 1990
“Kenneth Snelson at Marlborough Chelsea” Review Magazine, February 1999 by Mark Daniel Cohen

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