EMMAS DESIGNBLOGG

Design and style from a Scandinavian perspective

Kirsten Hassenfeld

Dans la Lune is the name of this amazing installation by New York artist Kirsten Hassenfeld, now showing at the Rice Gallery in Houston, Texas. Kirsten Hassenfeld's translucent sculptures have been characterized as "extravaganzas of the handmade." Since 1999, Hassenfeld has used paper, the most ordinary of materials, to create ornate, obsessively detailed objects that reference luxury goods, classical architecture, and decorative arts. Described by Hassenfeld as "dreams on the edge of vanishing," her ethereal sculptures explore her own fantasies of abundance and plenty.

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Dans la Lune contains the biggest objects Hassenfeld has ever made. The artwork consists of structures four to eight feet in diameter, resembling gigantic droplets or the onion domes of Russian architecture, are embellished with a profusion of swags, chains, honeycomb "beads," gem-like crystals, and a myriad of surprises, including a branch holding a tiny swing, a woman demurely leading a lacey pony within a miniature gazebo, and a pendant featuring Bacchus raising his cup of wine. At the center of some of the suspended structures is an elaborately embellished illuminated element. For example, one light is enclosed by a Fabergé egg-like form, which sprouts crystalline monoliths, and is circled by tiny, dangling chains.

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