New York

Joan Snyder

Hirschl & Adler Modern

The catalogue for Joan Snyder’s recent exhibition of paintings takes the form of a facsimile sketchbook, underscoring the artist’s spontaneous working method and intimate, diaristic style. The book’s title, Paintings and Sketches, indicates a certain equality between preliminary thoughts and finished work that reflects the emotional weight the artist places on every stage of her work, as well as the value of catharsis in her process. There’s certainly no separating the life from the art here: “My work,” Snyder writes on one drawing, “has been absolutely faithful to me.” And yet, she adds elsewhere, “Even art can’t substitute for tears.”

In the ’70s, Snyder openly rejected the analytic framework of many of her peers, settling on a lush signature palette and a creative process enmeshed with writing, the making of lists—on pieces of paper affixed to the canvas or directly in the painting—a

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