Joan Snyder, Dancing in the Dark, Boston University

Art superstar Joan Snyder (MacArthur, NEA, and Guggenheim fellow, exhibited at and/or collected by The Met, MoMA, Guggenheim, High Museum, Phillips Collection, The Jewish Museum of New York, Brooklyn Museum, Corcoran, National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Whitney to name a few) stopped by Boston University last week to mystify another audience.

Kate McNamara, Carrie Moyer, Joan Snyder, Helen Molesworth, and Patricia Hills having a conversation at BU on Oct 13th. Photo courtesy Elodie Paquette and Boston University Gallery.

All Installation shots courtesy Kalman Zabarski and Boston University Gallery.


Along with BU Gallery Director/Curator Kate McNamara, Carrie Moyer, ICA Chief Curator Helen Molesworth, and BU Professor Patricia Hills the conversation reflected upon the various periods in Snyder’s career and how printmaking fit into her and Moyer’s ongoing practices. Inscrutably, printing is a way of drawing to Snyder, it allows for other types of marks that the brush and paint do not allow. The deepness of the marks in prints, opposed to the shallower pencil mark, is one of the things that she mentioned as being attractive. Moyer mentioned that for her, printing is a way to alter her paintings, and that she was surprised that printing has had as much significance for her and her practice as it has had.

The dialog quickly moved into a recursive political conversation, where the politics of politics were discussed. Moyer doesn’t mind being called a feminist artist and Snyder rejects that as well as woman, lesbian, jewish, or whatever other constituency to which she could belong. Molesworth tried to confuse the consensus of what feminism can and should do when faced with the status-quo, questioning if the canon can be modified at all and if being restored into the canonical timeline should be women artist’s goals. That maybe the parent/child bloodline (1945 begat abstract expressionism begat pop begat minimalism etc) discounts the horizontal family structure of cousins, siblings, and schoolmates (How do you reflect on the fact that George Romero, Vito Acconci, Chuck Close, and Snyder were all born the same year).

The works on exhibit, curated by Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University (They have up an etching show currently), stretch throughout Snyders’s career, including prints published by Rutgers, CT College American Dance Festival, Aeropress New York, Derrière l’Étoile Studio, Diane Villani Editions, Mt. Holyoke College, the Fine Art Work Center, Smith College Print Workshop, R. E. Townsend Studio, Madison Print Club, Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, Jungle Press, Tandem Press, and of course, those printed by the artist herself. It will travel to the Joel & Lila Harnett Museum of Art in Richmond VA from January 24 to Sunday, April 22, 2012.

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Categories: Artists, Exhibitions, Interesting Printmaking, Reviews, Uncategorized

2 Responses to “Joan Snyder, Dancing in the Dark, Boston University”

  1. joan Snyder says:

    Thanks! Nice piece. It sums that evening up, even for me!

  2. […] On October 13th in Boston, a panel on Dancing in the Dark: Joan Snyder Prints 1963-2010 with Joan Snyder, Helen Molesworth, Patricia Hills and Carrie Moyer (report by John Pyper at Printeresting). […]