Michael Snow 1947–1962
James King. In collaboration with the Art Gallery of Hamilton
A look at the important formative years in Toronto of one of the country’s greatest artistsBuy Book
Michael Snow is one of Canada’s greatest living artists, and one of the most significant figures in twentieth-century Canadian art. Despite his longstanding international acclaim, the nascent stages of Snow’s career are comparatively underexamined. Early Snow focuses on the creative heights Snow had already reached by the age of thirty-three: wide-ranging achievements in painting, drawing, sculpture, foldage, cinema, and photography. Even as a young man, Snow’s catholic interests in art and literature contributed to an uncanny ability to create profoundly original works of art.
In Early Snow, James King (Michael Snow: Lives and Works, 2019) delves into Snow’s formative years and provides close readings of dozens of the artist’s works, placing them in the context of influences that include modern European art (Paul Klee, Ben Nicholson, Alberto Giacometti) and contemporary American art (Willem de Kooning, Conrad Marca-Relli, Donald Judd, Marcel Duchamp). The artworks featured here can be seen as a blueprint for Snow’s later career, but ultimately, King argues, the work created during this era is about transformation.