Born 1958, Cincinnati, OH
Lives in Middletown, RI and works in Newport, RI

Year created:
Michael Hansel, Reflex

Michael Hansel. Reflex. 2004. Stainless steel. 21' x 15' x 10'

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21' x 15' x 10'

Stainless steel
Lent by the Artist

No longer on view.

Michael Hansel’s sculptures mix natural and mechanical elements in unusual ways suggesting, as the artist states, "…that nature and industry aren’t really opposites, but more like complementary terms.” Hansel's machine-like forms and materials merge with organic spirals and curves, resulting in shapes that are both vaguely familiar and tantalizingly unidentifiable.

Reflex’s twisting form and branching arms resemble tree limbs, seaweed, or microscopic organisms while still appearing undeniably industrial. Distressed to simulate use and age, the innately rigid nature of the stainless steel is skillfully juxtaposed with the organic fluidity of the sculpture’s shape. Hansel describes his process and intent: “I prefer to start with familiar objects and strip away information until they become less and less recognizable. The resulting forms are references to, rather than literal representations of, machines or plants. My goal is to create finished compositions that leave the viewer with the comfort of familiarity and the uncertainty of not being able to truly identify or categorize any of the forms.”

Taken off view in October 2014.