Franklin Parrasch Gallery is pleased to announce Sub Rosa, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of recent paintings by American artist Joan Snyder (b. 1940). This group of works focuses on the imagery and symbolic gestures of roses. “Roses have been the main event in my work for the last several years,” Snyder writes in the pages of the exhibition catalogue, “and what finally comes from the wet soil, the green, the colors, the music again, the blossoms, the cherries and finally the rosebuds and the roses… deep red, peach, white, yellow.”
Flower images have appeared in multiple bodies of Snyder’s work over the past five decades, taking on different roles and evolving as vocabulary within the language of her image making. Her attention to the visual versatility of flora finds its origins as far back as her time in graduate school in the late 1960s when she used floral wallpaper as ground for collage. Snyder revisited this theme when she worked with paper pulp during a 2009 residency at the Brodsky Center at Rutgers University, producing the image that would become the progenitor for the work of this series. As she sources materials, which include everything from common products (gauze, string, cheesecloth, fabric) to the earthly (flower petals, seeds, rose hips), Snyder peruses hardware stores and farm stands with an equal sense of purpose and deliberation.
Snyder’s canvas is the ground from which her flowers, tended and nourished, emerge. The experience of decay and destruction and the subsequent alignment with rebirth is metaphorically inherent in each of the works in this show. Autobiographical and subjective at their core, Snyder’s paintings are personal, yet they maintain the capacity to invite viewers to reflect upon their own experiences through the lens of her images.
In Sub Rosa (2014), one of two vertical paintings on view, two stacked rose blossom images fill the frame: one is thickly painted in dark reds and purples, embedded with gauze, seeds, and glitter; the other painted less thickly, with broad, white strokes revealing layers of light purple and pink beneath the surface. The words “SUB ROSA” appear at the bottom of the painting in pink next to red lips and white teeth.
Symphony VII (2014) traces its lineage to an ongoing series Snyder has been producing since the mid-1970s, in which layers and divisions of eclectic information develop in the manner of a musical composition. Snyder’s structural use of line, gesture, division of space and adhesion to a grid format reference the structural cadence of a symphonic score.
Joan Snyder’s works reside in the permanent collections of numerous museums including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and the Dallas Museum of Art, among others. In 2005, the Jewish Museum (New York) presented a survey of Snyder’s work from 1965-2005; a fully-illustrated monograph published by Abrams with an essay by Hayden Herrera accompanied the show. In 1994, the Rose Museum (Brandeis University, Waltham, MA) hosted a mid-career survey titled Joan Snyder: Painter, 1969 to Now (catalogue published), which traveled to the Parrish Art Museum (Southampton, NY). Snyder is a 2007 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow, and the 1983 John Simon Guggenheim Award recipient.
Joan Snyder: Sub Rosa will be on view at Franklin Parrasch Gallery from May 9-June 20, 2015. A limited edition, fully-illustrated catalogue has been produced in conjunction with this exhibition. The artist will be present for an opening reception on May 9 from 5pm – 7pm. For further information, please contact the gallery during business hours, Tues-Fri 10a-6p, at 212-246-5360, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.