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Joan Snyder : One Blue Sky

Joan Snyder, More and More















More and More Our Hearts Are With You, Central America, 1983
mixed media on canvas
36 x 36 inches
Courtesy of Michael Ratner and Karen Rinucci

September 6, 2008 — November 23, 2008

Opening Reception Saturday, September 13, 6 - 8 pm
Gallery Talk Sunday, September 21, 12 pm

The Danforth Museum of Art is pleased to present Joan Snyder: One Blue Sky, an exhibition of 10 politically motivated, mixed media works incorporating photography by renowned artist Joan Snyder. Joan Snyder: One Blue Sky will be on view September 6-November 23, 2008. On Sunday, September 21, the artist will speak on her work at 12 noon. All are welcome.


About the Artist

Awarded a MacArthur fellowship in 2007, Joan Snyder is one of America’s most celebrated painters. Beginning with her early “stroke” paintings – intense swaths of color painted over pencil-drawn grids narrate both personal and communal experiences with broad swaths of paint applied over pencil drawn grids. Each brush stroke pulses with emotion and vitality.

Abandoning formal grids as the basic structure of her paintings, Snyder became increasingly gestural. She scrawled text into the paint or frames, or incorporated such found objects as herbs, sticks, feathers, mud, and nails, to render elegiac images filled with emotion. While her paintings mirror personal experience, she conveys the universal. Through persistent experimentation with technique and materials, Snyder extended the expressive potential of abstract painting and inspired a generation of emerging artists.

Snyder received an BA (1962) from Douglass College and an MFA (1966) from Rutgers University. In addition to the MacArthur Award, Snyder received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1974, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1983. Her work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; and the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC.

In 2005, the Danforth Museum of Art organized Joan Snyder, A Painting Survey, 1969-2005, a retrospective of Snyder’s work that traveled to The Jewish Museum in New York. Museum Director Katherine French received an award from the New England Chapter of the International Association of Art Critics for her work on this show.

About the Exhibit

This exhibit presents an opportunity for Museum visitors to view many works not included in the Danforth Museum of Art’s 2005 retrospective survey Joan Snyder, A Painting Survey, 1969-2005, which traveled to The Jewish Museum in New York. The ten works in this show are all politically motivated, with collaged newspaper photographs that focus on the plight of children in troubled times. The Museum is fortunate to have received Boy in Afghanistan, a particularly eloquent meditation on loss, as a donation to its permanent collection.

Although the earliest piece, My Lai Collage, dates from 1970, most of these works were done in response to a 1980’s series of articles on the exploitation of children that ran in the Christian Science Monitor. They concern the children of Africa, Afghanistan, the West Bank and Nicaragua, and imbed news photographs within a rough surface. This physically aggressive collage sometimes incorporates jagged tree branches—deliberately reminding the viewer of the withered plants that symbolize children lost in the turmoil of war.


Related Articles

"Political art or artful posturing?"
By Chris Bergeron, The MetroWest Daily News, September 11, 2008


Joan Snyder, My Lai, 1969












My Lai, 1970
collage installation
32 x 32 inches
Courtesy of the Artist


Join us on Sunday, September 21, 2008, 12 pm
for a special artist talk
with 2007 MacArthur Fellow, Joan Snyder!

Hear the artist speak about receiving this prestigious award!



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