Born in Pendleton, Oregon in 1927, Kenneth Snelson is a distinguished sculptor and photographer. After studying at the University of Oregon and Black Mountain College, he went to France to study at Fernand Léger’s Academie Monmartre in Paris.
As a photographer he is best known for his 360-degree panoramic views of urban landscapes such as this one of the Brooklyn Bridge. Snelson creates a seamless panorama, using a unique spring-loaded device that rotates the camera counter-clockwise on its tripod, while simultaneously advancing the film. His photographs not only give a strong sense of the architectural structure of a city, but also include human-scale details that serve to draw the viewer into the photographic expanse. His sculptures deal with the principles of tension and compression, exploring how massive metal tubes and cables fuse together almost weightlessly and rhythmically in space. In his artist statement, he writes, simply yet powerfully, “My art is concerned with nature in its primary aspect, the patterns of physical forces in three dimensional space.”
Snelson’s works have been exhibited at Bryant Park (New York), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, and can also be found in the collections of numerous institutions including the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Storm King Art Center (New York). He lives and works in New York City.