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Art Canadian

Early Snow

Michael Snow 1947-1962

by (author) James King

foreword by Shelley Falconer

introduction by Michael Snow

Figure 1 Publishing
Initial publish date
Jan 2020
Canadian, Monographs, Contemporary (1945-)
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Jan 2020
    List Price

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Michael Snow (1928 - 2023) was 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.

About the authors

James King is the author of four previous novels: Faking (1999), Blue Moon (2000), Transformations (2003), and Pure Inventions (2006). He is also the author of eight works of biography, the subjects of which include William Blake, Margaret Laurence, Jack McClelland, and Farley Mowat. His biography of Herbert Read, The Last Modern, was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award. James King lives in Hamilton, Ontario, and teaches at McMaster University in the Department of English.

James King's profile page

Shelley Falconer's profile page

Michael Snow was born in Toronto in 1929. His works are included in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Musée d’art moderne, Paris. His films have been shown at the Toronto, Berlin, Pesaro and Cannes festivals. As a musician he has played many concerts and festivals (e.g., Musica Nova, Hamburg, New Music America, the Olympic Arts Festival, Du Maurier Jazz Festival, etc.) and has produced recordings as well as the sound tracks for his films and gallery sound installations. He has received several awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and the Order of Canada.

Michael Snow's profile page

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