“Joan Snyder: A Year in the Painting Life,” Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York, NY. Through October 30, 2010. Roberta Smith reports: In terms of painting, it has been quite a year for Joan Snyder, who turned 70 in April. Ms. Snyder continues to work in a spirited, in-your-face, opulently textured, outrageously colorful style that she devised some 40 years ago. As ever, it forces Abstract Expressionist fervor through a Minimalist sieve into its own private Idaho of Post-Minimalism. Ms. Snyder is doing this better than ever, with a sense of restraint and economy that helpfully brakes her tendency toward excess and self-indulgence. More often than not, she achieves a new balance between built-up and relatively untouched, between overloaded and empty, that gives everyone a needed bit of breathing room…. In all cases, the combination of sensuousness and honesty attracts. The works establish the act of painting as, at base, what it is: a series of episodic gestures, momentary thoughts and local feelings that occur linearly but, meeting on a single surface, accumulate into much more.
Joan Snyder, “New Moonfield,” 2008; acrylic, burlap, silk, cheesecloth, wooden beads, etc. on linen; 54 x 74″
Joan Snyder, “Brooklyn 2010,” 2010; acrylic, pastel, herbs, burlap, rosebuds, etc. on linen; 54 x 72″
Joan Snyder, “Big Blue Two, 2010; oil, acrylic, herbs, seeds, paper mache, twigs on linen; 63 x 96.”