Kenneth Snelson


When conceiving of Free Ride Home, Kenneth Snelson first created a small maquette of metal tubes and knotted strings, envisioning what it would be like to walk under and through its silvery linear forms. “I began by thinking of a sculpture that would soar overhead,” Snelson noted. “I started with a central core and then developed it in three directions with three arches. One of the arches began to take on a descending fast plunge. It reminded me of the shape of a bucking horse. So, Free Ride Home, the name of a race horse, became the name of the sculpture.”

Touching the ground at just three points, the creatively engineered sculpture is fashioned from a network of stainless steel cables knotted to aluminum tubes. Installing at Storm King in the spring of 1975, a crew of just four raised the entire structure in under an hour. Free Ride Home is a prime example of Snelson’s play with organic forms constrained by internal structural tension, a push-pull system he invented in 1948. In this system, inspired by anatomy, cables function like muscles and the aluminum tubes like bones.

Kenneth Snelson
Free Ride Home, 1974
Aluminum and stainless steel
30 x 60 x 60'
Gift of the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation
© The Estate of Kenneth Snelson, courtesy Marlborough Gallery, New York.
Photograph by Kenneth Snelson.