Joan Snyder (b. 1940, Highland Park, New Jersey, US) made her breakthrough in the late 1960s with ‘stroke’ paintings such as Lines and Strokes (1969) and Symphony (1970). Painted in New York City around the same time as the Woodstock Music Festival, Snyder’s contribution at this moment of cultural dissent was a rebellion against the male-dominated abstract movements of Minimalism and Colour Field painting, both of which were perpetuating strict adherence to modernist principles.

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Joan Truro 2016


Blain|Southern London
Rosebuds & Rivers

Rosebuds & Rivers

4 April – 11 May 2019

Blain|Southern Berlin
Doodle & Disegno

Doodle & Disegno

7 July – 15 September 2018

Blain|Southern London
Playground Structure

Playground Structure

1 August – 16 September 2017


Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera

Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera

17 December 2018

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA



Joan Snyder, Rosebuds & Rivers


Joan Snyder worked personal stories into abstract painting and adapted established ideas to fit her own sensibility, introducing gestural flourishes and personal symbolism into a discourse where the avoidance of interpretative clues and evidence of the artist’s hand had been the norm. ‘The strokes in my paintings speak of my life and experiences. They are sometimes soft ... they sometimes laugh and are often violent ... they bleed and cry and struggle to tell my story with marks and colours and lines and shapes. I speak of love and anguish, of fear and mostly of hope.’

Snyder focused on these ‘stroke’ paintings for about a decade. The grid, on which she grounded these and many later works, was adopted as a way of introducing a narrative chronology, rather than a reference to the organising principle of modernism. Snyder’s other inspirations for adopting the grid further reflect her personality and passions; her knowledge and love of music, with its staffs for musical notation, and her work helping young children, who would draw onto lined exercise paper. She explains: ‘I do think my use of the grid came from my own search, not from any Minimalist theory, but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t affected by what was going on. I, though, wanted more in my paintings, not less … and I wanted narrative.’

Towards the mid-1970s, Snyder was moving away from the grid. She continued to create autobiographical, spiritual and sometimes political works, but started to create layers of ‘non-art materials’ that supported the narrative, as in Vanishing Theater/The Cut (1974), where she incorporated thread, chicken wire, fake fur and cheesecloth. As Lance Esplund commented in the Wall Street Journal, Snyder’s use of totemic objects ‘reminds us that no matter how modern and civilized we are, art can still be raw, primitive and talismanic. Without apologies or decorum, Ms. Snyder's work awakens all of the things still wild within us.

Snyder’s impact on abstract art and materialistic exploration of painting has brought her widespread critical claim and institutional recognition. In December 2018, she appeared in Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera, a major exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.



Joan Snyder

1940, Born in Highland Park, New Jersey, US
Lives and works in Brooklyn and Woodstock, NY, US


M.F.A. Rutgers, The State University, New Brunswick, NJ, US

A.B. Douglass College, New Brunswick, NJ, US


American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Art

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship

John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship

National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship


Art after Stonewall, 1969-1989, New York University’s Grey Art Gallery and the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, New York, US (group) (forthcoming)
Mulberry and Canal, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, US (group) (forthcoming)
Rosebuds & Rivers, Blain|Southern London, UK

Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, US (group)
Scenes from the Collection, The Jewish Museum, New York, US (group)
Joan Snyder / Selected Prints 1975-2018, Anders Wahlstedt Fine Art, New York, US
Doodle & Disegno, Blain|Southern, Berlin, DE (group)

Playground Structure, Blain|Southern, London, UK (group)
The Female Side of God, Jewish Museum Hohenems, AT (group)
Forrest Bess | Joan Snyder, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, US
Kabinett: Joan Snyder, Franklin Parrasch Gallery at Art Basel Miami Beach, US

Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible, The Met Breuer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, US (group)
Womansong, Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, Los Angeles, US
Exhibition of Work by Newly Elected Members and Recipients of Honors and Awards, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, US (group)
The Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York, US (group)

Painting 2.0: Expression in the Information Age, Museum Brandhorst, Munich, DE; Museum moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien (mumok), Vienna, AT (group
Joan Snyder/Sub Rosa, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, New York, US
Spotlight: Joan Snyder, Franklin Parrasch Gallery at Frieze, New York, US

Reinventing Abstraction, Cheim & Read, New York, US (group)
Joan Snyder: Symphony, Gering & Lopez, New York, US

Dancing with the Dark: Prints by Joan Snyder 1963-2010, Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; Boston University Art Galleries; University of Richmond Museums; University of New Mexico Art Museum, US
Joan Snyder/Intimate Works, Mabel Smith Douglass Library, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ; Boston University Art Gallery Annex, US

Shifting the Gaze: Painting and Feminism, The Jewish Museum, New York, US (group)
Joan Snyder: A Year in the Painting Life,
Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York, US

Seeds and Blossoms, Elena Zang Gallery, Woodstock, NY, US

Joan Snyder: … and seeking the sublime, Nielsen Gallery, Boston, US

WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, MOCA, Los Angeles; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; MoMA PS1, Long Island City, US; Vancouver Art Gallery, CA (group)
High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967 - 1975, curated by Katy Siegel: Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro; American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C.; National Academy Museum, New York, US; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City, MX; Neue Galerie Graz, AT; ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, DE (group)

Joan Snyder: A Painting Survey, 1969-2005, The Jewish Museum, New York; Danforth Art Museum, Framingham, US

Joan Snyder, Women Make Lists, Betty Cuningham Gallery, New York, US
Joan Snyder, Works on Paper, Alexandre Gallery, New York, US

Joan Snyder: Primary Fields, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, US

Joan Snyder/Jessica Stockholder, Jay Gorney Modern Art, New York, US

Joan Snyder: Works with Paper, curated by Sarah Anne McNear, Allentown Art Museum, US

Corcoran Biennial, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., US (group)

Resurrection and Studies, MATRIX Gallery, Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, US New Works on Paper I, Museum of Modern Art, New York, US (group)
1981 Whitney Biennial, The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US (group)

The 1970’s: New American Painting, The New Museum, New York, US; Belgrade, RS; Budapest, HU; Bucharest, RO; Zagreb, HR; Ljubljana, SI; Rome, IT; Copenhagen, DK; Warsaw, PL (group)

Joan Snyder: Seven Years of Work, Neuberger Museum, SUNY, Purchase, New York, US

34th Biennial of Contemporary American Painting, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., US (group)

1973 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US (group
American Drawings 1963-1973, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US (group)

1972 Annual Exhibition: Contemporary American Painting, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US (group)


Franklin Parrasch at Frieze New York, US

Parrasch Heijnen at Dallas Art Fair, US

Joan Snyder, Franklin Parrasch at Frieze New York, US
Franklin Parrasch at Dallas Art Fair, US
Franklin Parrasch at Frieze Masters London, UK

Franklin Parrasch at Art Basel, Miami Beach, US
Diane Villani Editions at IFPDA Print Fair, New York, US


Exhibition Catalogue, New York, Franklin Parrasch Gallery, Joan Snyder: Sub Rosa, essay by Joan Snyder

Exhibition Catalogue, New York, Gering & Lopez Gallery, Joan Snyder: SYMPHONY: Early Works on Paper & New Paintings

Symmes, Marilyn and Faye Hirsch. Dancing with the Dark: Joan Snyder Prints 1963-2010. Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers and DelMonico Books/Prestel, New Burnswick, US

Herrera, Hayden, Jenni Sorkin, and Norman Kleeblatt. Joan Snyder. Harry N. Abrams, New York, US

Exhibition Catalogue, Allentown Art Museum, Joan Snyder Works with Paper, essay by Sarah Anne McNear


Wilkin, Karen. “‘Epic Abstraction’ Review: High Expectations and Trepidations.” The Wall Street Journal, January 12

Smith, Roberta. “At the Met Museum, an Abstract Show that Falls Short of Epic.” The New York Times, December 20
Cohen, David. “Featured Item from THE LIST: Joan Snyder at Anders Wahlstedt.” Artcritical, December 18
Snyder-Fink, Molly. “My Mother’s Altar: Joan Snyder Paints to Face Herself.” Woman’s Art Journal, Fall/Winter
“Today’s Most Fearless Female Artists.” Livingly
Butler, Sharon. “Joan Snyder: The Female Presence.” Two Coats of Paint, May 16
Black, Ezrha Jean. “Artillery Best in Show 2017.” Artillery, January 2

“5 Questions with Joan Snyder.” Elephant, 28 August
Pagel, David. “Forrest Bess and Joan Snyder Paintings Shine in a Show That Gets Past the Dark History.” Los Angeles Times, June 6
“Forrest Bess and Joan Snyder at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, Los Angeles.” ARTnews, June 5

Griffin, Jonathan. “Joan Snyder, Womansong.” ArtReview, Summer Issue
Wagley, Catherine. “5 Art Shows to See in L.A. This Week.” LA Weekly, June 1
Pagel, David. “Review: Discoveries at Every Turn in Joan Snyder Paintings at Parrasch Heijnen.” Los Angeles Times, May 11
“Q&A: Joan Snyder.” Flaunt, May
“Must See Los Angeles.” Artforum, May 11

Smith, Roberta. “Sub Rosa.” The New York Times, Art in Review, June 12
Smith, Roberta. “Review: From Joan Snyder, a Profusion of Flowers at Franklin Parrasch.” The New York Times, Art in Review, June 11
Brock, Hovey. “Joan Snyder Sub Rosa.” The Brooklyn Rail, June 3rd
Blagens, Peter. “Romantic Abstracts, ‘Product Paintings’ and 3-D Pixels.” The Wall Street Journal, May 22nd
Reilly, Maura. “Six Pioneering Feminist Artists Conquer New York.” Hyperallergic, April 30

Corcoran, Heather. “Sublime: Cristin Tierney Gallery at Expo Chicago.” Artsy Editorial, September 18
Manes, Cara. “Speaking with Joan Snyder About Sweet Cathy’s Song.” Moma Inside Out, May 8

Nathan, Emily. “Joan Snyder: Gering & Lopez Gallery.” Artforum, April
Nathan, Emily. “Joan Snyder: Gering & Lopez”, ARTnews, March

Tallman, Susan. “Getting Complicated: Joan Snyder Prints.” Art in Print, Vol. 1, no.4, November-December
Schwendener, Martha. “The Consciousness of a Feminist Expressionist.” The New York Times, May 14
Esplund, Lance. “Lady of the Wild Things.” The Wall Street Journal, April 27

Frederick, Jeff. “Joan Snyder at Betty Cunningham.” Art in America, November 10
Smith, Roberta. “A Year in the Painting Life.” The New York Times, Art in Review, October 1
Rosenberg, Karen. “A Raucous Reflection on Identity: Jewish and Feminine” The New York Times, September 10

Pagel, David. “Joan Snyder at Solway-Jones Gallery.” Los Angeles Times, March 13
Hochdorfer, Achim. “A Hidden Reserve.” Artforum, February

Lee, Felicia R. “MacArthur Foundation Gives Out ‘Genius Awards’.” New York Times, October 18
Leffingwell, Edward. “Joan Snyder at Betty Cuningham.” Art in America, June/July
Princenthal, Nancy. “Feminism Unbound.” Art in America, June/July

Stevens, Mark. “Iron Joan.” New York Magazine, September 19
Gardner, James. “Joan Snyder: A Painting Survey 1969-2005.” New York Post, September 9
Kimmelman, Michael. “In Every Stroke, Life’s Fierce Pageant.” The New York Times, August 26
Rosenberg, Karen. “Joan Snyder: A Painting Survey, 1969-2005” New York Magazine, Art, August 15
Pogrebin, Robin. “Joan Snyder” in “The Week Ahead.” The New York Times, August 7
Harris, Susan. “Joan Snyder at Betty Cuningham and Alexandre.” Art in America, no. 4, April
Nadelman, Cynthia. “Joan Snyder: Betty Cuningham and Alexandre.” Art News, vol. 104/no. 3, March

Youens, Rachel. “Joan Snyder at Betty Cuningham” in “Artseen”. The Brooklyn Rail, December – January 2005
Esplund, Lance. “Fresh Paint: Critics’ Choice.” Modern Painters, Autumn
“Art: Galleries – Chelsea,” The New Yorker, Nov 22
Glueck, Grace. “The Art of Aging” The New York Times, January 9

Lombardi, D. Dominick. “Gems, Indoors and Out.” The New York Times, July 27

Johnson, Ken. "Primary Fields.” Art in Review, The New York Times, May 18
Chessler, Suzanne. "The Voice of Experience." The Jewish News, May 4

Cotter, Holland. “Immediacies of the Hand." The New York Times, April 9

Glueck, Grace. "Joan Snyder", Art Guide, The New York Times, December
Klein, Mason. "Joan Snyder: Hirschl & Adler Modern". Artforum, October
Unger, Miles. "Joan Snyder". ARTnews, March

Cotter, Holland. “Joan Snyder" The New York Times, May 3

“Awards: Joan Snyder: 1969-Now ‘Best Regional Show’” Art in America, May

"Art: The 10 Best Shows of 1994”, New York Magazine, Dec 19-26
Smith, Roberta. "Building on the Bare, Bare Bones." The New York Times, August 12
Braff, Phyllis. "The Restlessness and Imaginations of 2 Important Pioneers." New York Times, July 31
Herrera, Hayden. "Joan Snyder Traffics in Art and True Grit." The New York Times, July 24
Smith, Roberta. "To Enchant (blue)." The New York Times, Art in Review, July 22
Cotter, Holland. "Taking It Personally: Putting Emotions to Paper." The New York Times, April 8
Herrera, Hayden. "Who Are the Most Underrated and Overrated Artists?" ARTnews, Feb 1
Perl, Jed. "Snyder's Earth, Freud's Skin." New Criterion, February
Hess, Elizabeth. "Fem Fatale." Village Voice, Jan 25
“Joan Snyder/Jessica Stockholder Voice Choices” Village Voice, 26 Jan

Schnore, Peter. "Joan Snyder: Works With Paper." Art Matters, Dec-Jan 1994

Cotter, Holland. "In Orbit Amid Black and Silk." The New York Times, October 30
Snyder, Joan. "Being a Mother." Meaning, no.12, November

Cotter, Holland. “Joan Snyder at Hirschl & Adler Modern.” in “Reviews of Exhibitions, New York.” Art in America vol. 78, no. 10, October
Perl, Jed. “Mixed Media.” New Criterion 8, no. 8, April

McCracken, David. “Snyder Paints to Try to Heal the Children.” Chicago Tribune, December 9
Harrison, Helen A. “Poles of Expression: Formal and Emotional.” The New York Times, December 4
Smith, Roberta. “Artworks that Strike Up Conversations with Viewers.” The New York Times, April 1
Perl, Jed. “The Joans of Art.” Vogue, March

Brenson, Michael. “True Believers Who Keep the Flame of Painting.” The New York Times, June 7

Henry, Gerrit. “Joan Snyder: True Grit.” Art in America 74, no. 2, February

Gill, Susan. “Joan Snyder, Hirschl & Adler Modern.” New York Reviews, ARTnews 84, no. 10, December

Henry, Gerrit. “Joan Snyder” in “Expressionism Today: An Artists’ Symposium.” Art in America 70, no. 1, December

Rubinfien, Leo. “Joan Snyder, Hamilton Gallery” in “Reviews: New York.” Artforum 16, no. 10, Summer
Shirey, David L. “Spirited Feminist Wields Bold Brush.” The New York Times, February 12

Webster, Sally. “Joan Snyder, Fury and Fugue, Politics of the Inside.” Feminist Art Journal 5, no. 2, Summer
Herrera, Hayden. “Joan Snyder at Carl Solway.” in “Review of Exhibitions, New York.” Art in America 64, no. 3, May-June

Snyder, Joan. “Painters Reply ...” Artforum 14, no. 1, September

Anderson, Laurie. “Joan Snyder’s Recent Paintings at Paley & Lowe ...” in “Reviews & Previews” ARTnews 72, No. 5, May

Elderfield, John. “The Whitney Annual.” in “New York Reviews.” Art in America 60, no. 3, May-June
Hickey, Dave. “Frankenthaler at Emmerich, Joan Snyder at Paley & Lowe” in “New York: Reviews and Previews.” Art in America 60, no. 1, January-February

Stiles, Knute. “Joan Snyder, Michael Walls Gallery” in “San Francisco.” Artforum 10, no. 3, November
Tucker, Marcia. “The Anatomy of a Stroke: Recent Paintings by Joan Snyder.” Artforum 9, no. 9, May


Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, US
Allentown Art Museum, US
American Can Company, Greenwich, US
Art Institute of Chicago, US
BankAmerica Corporation, San Francisco, US
Ball State University Museum of Art, Muncie, US
Brooklyn Museum of Art, US
Bruce Museum, Greenwich, US
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York, US
Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C., US
Dallas Museum of Art, US
Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, US
Grand Rapids Art Museum, US
Guggenheim Museum, New York, US
Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, US
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, US
Hudson County Community College, Jersey City, US
J. B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, US
The Jewish Museum, New York, US
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, US
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, US
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, US
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, US
Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, US
The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., US
The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C., US
Neuberger Museum, State University of New York at Purchase, US
New York Public Library Print Room, US
The Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, US
Phoenix Art Museum, US
Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, US
The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., US
Prudential Life Insurance Corp., Newark, US
Reeds Hill Foundation, Carlisle, US
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, US
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, US
Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, US
The Tang Museum, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, US
United Bank of California, US
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, US
The Walker Hill Art Center, Seoul, KR
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, US
Wichita Art Museum, US
Worcester Art Museum, US
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, US