Michael Snow: Life & Work by Martha Langford

Punster, painter, musician, and filmmaker, Michael Snow is one of Canada’s most internationally celebrated figures in contemporary art. Read and download the online art book here: http://www.aci-iac.ca/michael-snow
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Michael Snow’s trademark Walking Woman considers that a form can be both a positive (a presence to be looked at) and a negative (an absence to be looked through), which can be explored through an infinite number of creative possibilities. “Four Grey Panels and Four Figures,” 1963, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photographed by Brian Merrett.

Michael Snow’s trademark Walking Woman considers that a form can be both a positive (a presence to be looked at) and a negative (an absence to be looked through), which can be explored through an infinite number of creative possibilities. “Four Grey Panels and Four Figures,” 1963, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, photographed by Brian Merrett.

This multiple image work is a study in greys. Michael Snow, “Snow Storm,” 1967, National Gallery of Canada.

This multiple image work is a study in greys. Michael Snow, “Snow Storm,” National Gallery of Canada.

In “Sink,” Michael Snow is playing with repetition and transparency, using different colours and intensities of light to record this ordinary object. “Sink,” 1970, Museum of Modern Art.

In “Sink,” Michael Snow is playing with repetition and transparency, using different colours and intensities of light to record this ordinary object. “Sink,” Museum of Modern Art.

“Sink” demonstrates Michael Snow’s experimentation with transparency and repetition. “Sink,” 1970, Museum of Modern Art.

“Sink” demonstrates Michael Snow’s experimentation with transparency and repetition. “Sink,” Museum of Modern Art.

Michael Snow has frequently used a Polaroid camera to produce an instant translation from split-second external reality to fixed image-object. Michael Snow, “Still Living–9 x 4 Acts–Scene 1,” 1982, various collections and collection of the artist.

Michael Snow has frequently used a Polaroid camera to produce an instant translation from split-second external reality to fixed image-object. Michael Snow, “Still x 4 Acts–Scene various collections and collection of the artist.

Michael Snow belongs to a generation of artists that was truly inspired by early twentieth-century European art. Piet Mondrian, “Composition en blanc, noir et rouge,” 1936, Museum of Modern Art.

Michael Snow belongs to a generation of artists that was truly inspired by early twentieth-century European art. Piet Mondrian, “Composition en blanc, noir et rouge,” Museum of Modern Art.

This is an eccentric participatory piece where the act of being served dinner is turned into a kind of action painting, by means of a canvas "table," projection and invisible waiter who overfills the glasses and flings the food onto and over the edges of the plates. Michael Snow, "Serve, Deserve," 2009, collection of the artist.

This is an eccentric participatory piece where the act of being served dinner is turned into a kind of action painting, by means of a canvas "table," projection and invisible waiter who overfills the glasses and flings the food onto and over the edges of the plates. Michael Snow, "Serve, Deserve," 2009, collection of the artist.

This is an eccentric participatory piece where the act of being served dinner is turned into a kind of action painting by means of a canvas “table,” a projection, and an invisible waiter. Michael Snow, “Serve, Deserve,” 2009, collection of the artist.

This is an eccentric participatory piece where the act of being served dinner is turned into a kind of action painting by means of a canvas “table,” a projection, and an invisible waiter. Michael Snow, “Serve, Deserve,” 2009, collection of the artist.

“Recombinant” uses as a fixed reference, a framed bas-relief, its etched lines reminiscent of the Walking Woman’s torso. Onto this marked rectangular surface are projected 80 slides. Michael Snow, “Recombinant,” 1992, Art Gallery of Ontario.

“Recombinant” uses as a fixed reference, a framed bas-relief, its etched lines reminiscent of the Walking Woman’s torso. Onto this marked rectangular surface are projected 80 slides. Michael Snow, “Recombinant,” Art Gallery of Ontario.

“Recombinant” is another of Michael Snow’s repetitive and re-presention pieces. Reuse of a theme or a motif transforms it both in its physical properties and in the mind of the spectator. “Recombinant,” 1992, Art Gallery of Ontario.

“Recombinant” is another of Michael Snow’s repetitive and re-presention pieces. Reuse of a theme or a motif transforms it both in its physical properties and in the mind of the spectator. “Recombinant,” Art Gallery of Ontario.

This multi-channel video installation creates a gallery of moving abstraction. Michael Snow, "The Viewing of Six New Works," 2012, National Gallery of Canada.

Michael Snow uses multiple projectors to make his installation at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art a dynamic viewing experience.

This works consists of 80 projected slides and one mounted still photo of a cluttered artist's sink. Michael Snow, "Sink," 1970, Museum of Modern Art.

This works consists of 80 projected slides and one mounted still photo of a cluttered artist's sink. Michael Snow, "Sink," Museum of Modern Art.

Interested in re-presentation and repetition, Michael Snow created a series of projected slides of the same studio sink. “Sink,” 1970, Museum of Modern Art.

Interested in re-presentation and repetition, Michael Snow created a series of projected slides of the same studio sink. “Sink,” Museum of Modern Art.

This work melds the photographic image with sculptural concerns. Michael Snow, “Atlantic,” 1967, Art Gallery of Ontario.

This work melds the photographic image with sculptural concerns. Michael Snow, “Atlantic,” Art Gallery of Ontario.

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