Joan Snyder: Painting from the inside out

Contributed by Jason Andrew / In a 1976 Cincinnati Enquirer review of Joan Snyder’s paintings, the reviewer, Owen Findsen, surmised that she had “picked up a little of this, a little of that … and made it all uglier.” While he found her work offensive, even questioning it’s validity, for those like me who have come to love Snyder’s work, it couldn’t be a bigger compliment. Joan Snyder paints her world from the inside out.

Unabashedly expressive, her paintings are born of sorrow and moods, loss and struggles, and yes, peace and love as well. The new paintings now on view at CANADA echo a familiar cantata – an unapologetic narrative. “They are a form of keeping time,” Helen Molesworth writes in her witty catalogue essay accompanying the exhibition, “of remaining present, of acting as both observer and recorder.” The catalogue also features commentary by Wallace Whitney and Sean Scully.