MAREN HASSINGER

Black & white photograph of Maren Hassinger, hands raised elegantly at hairline and chin, framing her face.

Maren Hassinger (b.1947) has built an expansive practice that articulates the relationship between nature and humanity. Carefully choosing materials for their innate characteristics, Hassinger has explored the subject of movement, family, love, nature, environment, consumerism, identity, and race. Wire rope has played a prominent role in Maren Hassinger’s artistic practice since the early 1970s when, as a sculptor placed in the Fiber Arts program at UCLA, Hassinger used the material to bridge the gap between the two disciplines. The artist often takes a biomimetic approach to her material, whether bundling it to resemble a monolithic sheaf of wheat or planting it in cement to create an industrial garden. Maren Hassinger is the recipient of numerous honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for the Arts. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Baltimore Museum of Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Modern Art, NYC; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NYC, among others.

STEEL BODIES

On View June 9, 2022 – March 5, 2023

New York-based artist Maren Hassinger returns to Socrates with a series of new steel sculptures following her first exhibition with the Park in 1988. Examining the complications of human interrelation and affinity, identity and collectiveness, through abstraction in the outdoors, these steel silhouettes take forms of various iconic vessels drawing types not only from her current practice, but from the ancient Western world, non-Western cultures, and various Craft traditions. Amplified to larger than human height, the public is invited to walk around and among them, experiencing new perspectives through the skeletal frame. Their proximity to one another, choreographed throughout the Park’s landscape, provides visitors a new awareness of their bodies in public and shared space.

Artworks

Three Bushes, 1988Steel cable7' × 7' × 7'

Socrates Park is an example of nature’s subsistence in an urban environment. Three Bushes, part of Sculptors Working (1988 – 1989), is meant to reflect this condition and show the paradox of nature’s grip in the city — scarce and tentative, yet incredibly hardy where it does take hold.

The steel bushes contrast the relation between man-made and nature-made. The site and piece are intimately connected, symbiotically reliant. There is a grotto-like area near the fence and a patch of wildflowers and marsh grass near the river. These both seemed like likely spots for steel bushes and they sprang up like weeds. One grew near the fence and the other two took root in the marsh grass.

Thanks to Valerie Thomas, Billie Jenkins, Harvey Simmons, Arlene Smitheran, and John Friend Company, Inc.

Maren Hassinger 9' steel linear sculpture, gourd-shape with the East River and city skyline behind it.
Vessel One, 2022Steel106 × 96 inches diameter 

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Two, 2022Steel108 × 120 inches diameter

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Three, 2022Steel108 × 70 inches diameter

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Four, 2022Steel72 × 18 × 18 inches

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Five, 2022Steel, Blackener150 inches × 39 inches

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Six, 2022Steel, Blackener109 inches × 38 inches

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Seven, 2022Steel144 × 76 inches diameter

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Eight, 2022Steel108 × 84 × 18 inches

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Nine, 2022Repurposed steel 72" × 144" diameter

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

Vessel Ten, 2022 Stainless steel 103 × 120 inches diameter

Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery
Image: Byron Guinanzaca

 

 

Bushes, 2021Wire Rope 78 × 70 inches diameter 86 × 72 inches diameter

Commissioned by Dia Art Foundation
Courtesy of the Artist and Susan Inglett Gallery

Installation View, Window, Dia: Bridgehampton, 2021
Image: Don Stahl

Exhibition

May 22, 1988 – Mar 15, 1989 Sculptors Working