PHILADELPHIA, PA.- The Philadelphia Museum of Art
presents the first exhibition in the United States in over four decades devoted solely to the photographic work of the acclaimed Canadian artist Michael Snow. One of the most influential experimental filmmakers of his generation, Snow is known and admired for his multidisciplinary approach to art making. Photo-Centric highlights this important aspect of his practice, exploring the intimate connections that exist between his work in photography, painting, sculpture, and film.
Developed in close collaboration with the artist, Photo-Centric is a focused survey of Snows photography-based work and presents key examples of his use of the medium over the past five decades. This body of work has been central to Snows investigation of the nature and limits of representation, articulated through an exploration of photography and its processes. According to Snow, To extend the depth of what has been called art into photography requires . . . making available to the spectator the amazing transformations the subject undergoes to become the photograph.
Poised between two- and three-dimensionality, a number of works in this exhibition engage physically with the gallery space and the viewer, and are representative of Snows various approaches to photography and the various ways in which it frames vision. Each work exemplifies one or more of the strategies employed by Snow to explore this idea. Illumination, transparency, staging, simultaneity and sequence, size manipulation, cropping, and framing are brought into play and exposed for the part they play in the making of photographic images.
Michael Snow: Photo-Centric also explores the intimate connections that exist between the artists paintings, sculptures, and films as mediated by and through photography. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is an ideal context for Snow and his work, which illuminates concepts critical to the making and appreciation of art.
Michael Snow (Canadian, born 1928) attended the Ontario College of Art, where he specialized in design while independently painting and playing jazz piano. A sculptor, filmmaker, painter, photographer, installation-maker, and musician, Snow has been featured in solo exhibitions and retrospectives including the Venice Biennale, 1970; the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (1970, 1994); the Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1976; Documenta 6, 1977; the Centre Pompidou, Paris (1978, 2003); the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (1988); the Power Plant, Toronto (1994, 2009); the Musée dart contemporain de Montréal (1995); the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, and the Cinémathèque Française, Paris (1999); the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris (2000); among others. He has earned numerous international awards and titles and his works in all media are found in public collections worldwide.