NY Times Art in Review: Joan Snyder

 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.”

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.


  1. Nice Post! I think Roberta's review is spot on. In terms of Abstraction, I put Snyder alongside Lasker, Winters, Von Heyl, Reed, Wool, Fish and Jensen as one of the greatest practioners of the abstract image working today. I wish I could see the show!

  2. great post …"brakes her tendency toward excess and self-indugence"… I am always rather intrigued when this kind of term is used… are you not supposed to enjoy making a painting ?… like someone made them do it, against their will? and they forgot that they were not allowed to enjoy themselves.

  3. Joan Snyder is another example of an Artist making her best work at an advanced age. She joins Rembrandt, Poussin, Goya, Picasso, and many others in this regard. It is why there needs to be more support and representation for older Artists.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *