Since 1999, I have used paper to create ornate, obsessively detailed objects and environments that reference luxury goods, classical architecture, mineral formations and the decorative arts. In my works, eccentrically scaled and meticulously crafted elements combine to create a realm of decorative excess.
Dans La Lune was commissioned by Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas and was exhibited in 2007. This installation takes my system of construction to an extreme: 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,” and gem–like crystals. The many fragile, detailed components of Dans La Lune will now hang in Smack Mellon’s dramatic, industrial gallery space.
The exhibition’s title comes from the French equivalent to the idiom “head in the clouds”, reflecting my interest in the nearly-universal human longing for a grander, more perfect existence, and the daydream as a reflexive coping strategy.
Kirsten Hassenfeld was born in Albany, New York. She received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1994 and an MFA from The University of Arizona, Tucson in 1998. In 2004, she had a solo exhibition, Objects of Virtue, at Bellwether Gallery, New York. Her work has been featured in numerous group exhibitions throughout New York, including Light x Eight: The Hanukkah Project (2006), The Jewish Museum; Greater New York (2005), P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, a MoMA affiliate, and Open House: Working in Brooklyn (2004), Brooklyn Museum. She has been an artist-in-residence in New York at Dieu Donné Papermill (2005), The Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation (2004), and Smack Mellon Artist Studio Program (2003). In 2006, Hassenfeld was awarded a grant from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation. In 2007, she exhibited Dans La Lune at Rice University Art Gallery in Houston, Texas. The artist lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.