Rinehart School of Sculpture (MFA)

Maren Hassinger, DIrector Emeritus

Maren was the Director of the Rinehart School of Sculpture for 20 years, retiring in 2017.

Maren Hassinger was born in Los Angeles in 1947. After studying dance and sculpture at Bennington College, she completed her MFA in Fiber Structure at UCLA. While in Los Angeles, she began making sculptures with bent, twisted and frayed wire rope and creating and participating in numerous performances in Los Angeles.

Now based in New York City, Hassinger uses everyday disposable and recycled materials—plastic bags, paper, and cardboard—to consider our relationship to nature and each other. We live in a time of inequality and vanishing resources, so Hassinger considers the precarious fate of people and nature. These issues inspire her work, which includes video, performance, installation, and objects.

Hassinger has exhibited widely in the United States and abroad. She is the recipient of many awards and honors including grants from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Gottlieb Foundation, Anonymous was a Woman and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Women’s Caucus for the Arts. 

In 2015, she had a major retrospective at Spelman College Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia with a catalog featuring 20 works that were recreated for the exhibition. In 2016, she and her daughter Ava Hassinger presented an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia as “Matriarch”. Hassinger’s work was included in a major exhibition of feminist artwork at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in 2017. In 2018, Hassinger has been participating in 3 solo exhibitions at Art & Practice in Los Angeles, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Susan Inglett Gallery in New York. Maren's yearlong outdoor exhibition with the Studio Museum in Harlem, titled "Monuments" is currently on view in Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park until June 2019.