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05 Oct 2020

Joan Snyder: The Summer Becomes a Room


Reviewed by Franklin Einspruch

Joan Snyder has spent a long career overestimating what can be accomplished with a grid. In contrast to Adolph Gottlieb, to whose Pictographs she owes a debt, Snyder tends either to treat units of the grid as boxes for gushing emotion into, or, perhaps sensing dissolution, makes it the basis for painting an internal frame. In the former case, single units, though sometimes luscious, feel as if they could be rearranged without much impact on the overall picture. In the latter case, the results end up looking like a minor adopter of the Tenth Street Touch got too many ideas from Persian carpets. Here and there she abuts paintings of each of those tendencies into diptychs, and the effect is something like that of forcing antagonistic siblings to share a car seat.

In a hilariously pretentious catalogue essay for this exhibition, Helen Molesworth characterizes the works as "an endless sentence composed of run-on fragments." The observation is apt, but not as a compliment.

Exhibition Joan Snyder: The Summer Becomes a Room link
Start date 02 Sep 2020
End date 10 Oct 2020
Presenter Canada link
Venue 60 Lispenard Street, New York City, NY, USA map
Image Joan Snyder, In Woodstock, 2019, oil, acrylic, burlap, cloth, mud, herbs on linen, 32 x 64 inches, photo by Jason Mandella, courtesy of Canada

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