Maren Hassinger: Nature, Sweet Nature
Sept. 9, 2021 - Aug. 29, 2022
Traveling from Aspen Art Museum, the exhibition Nature, Sweet Nature by renowned artist Maren Hassinger was reconfigured to respond to the grounds of Oklahoma Contemporary.
Nature, Sweet Nature was comprised of two installations constructed with galvanized wire rope. The two pieces, Garden and Paradise Regained, each stood in rows at relative human scale; one near the entrance to the art center and the other within the Sculpture Garden. Garden's uncoiled ends fanned out like the panicles or inflorescence of tall ornamental grass while Paradise Regained was comprised of lengths of industrial rope leaning in a single direction. The movement evoked by the slightly curving lines created a kinetic effect — a gentle illusion and optical rupturing of what was materially still that spoke to Hassinger’s practice in dance as well as sculpture. Aptly described by Aspen Art Museum Assistant Curator Simone Krug, Hassinger's work was an "interpretation of the interconnectedness of nature and the industrial."
Rendering the metal malleable, Hassinger referenced the movement of reeds, grass and the wind itself. In particular, the dance of shadows cast on the ground by the curved lines of Paradise Regained tracked the movement of time through the course of the day and over the year that it was installed at Oklahoma Contemporary. The accessibility of the Sculpture Garden to visitors entering the building provided a space for what Hassinger underscored as “our tenuous relationship to nature,” connecting each viewer to what might be fragile or responsive in the interdependent nature of our ecosystem.
This exhibition was sponsored by Annie Bohanon, George Records, Glenna and Richard Tanenbaum, Velocigo and Chuck and Renate Wiggin.