In addition, the show includes three early monoprints—Candles for Clem, For F and Prayer— and Apple Tree Mass, an iconic painting from 1983.
The exhibit also celebrates the publication of Molly Snyder-Fink’s essay “My Mother’s Altar: Joan Snyder Paints to Face Herself” in the 2018 Fall/Winter Woman's Art Journal. Snyder-Fink, a filmmaker and writer, offers a unique and illuminating exploration of her mother's artistic and creative trajectory, providing context for the themes of the work on view: spiritual and artistic devotion, love and loss.
Snyder’s new series Chant/Forever (2018) is the latest product of her decades-long collaboration with master printer Andrew Mockler of Jungle Press. The three earlier monoprints memorializing loved ones, Prayer (1996), For F (1996), For F (1996) and Candles for Clem (1998), were printed in collaboration with Master Printer Robert Townsend. Snyder’s monoprints complement the large-scale painting Apple Tree Mass (1983). The works visualize the universal narratives of love, death and mourning. In “My Mother’s Altar,” Snyder-Fink notes that Snyder’s “work is self-created spirituality…She reaches new levels of comprehension about the meaning of life by throwing down herbs upon canvas, awash with glossy green paint and golden glitter.”
In her essay for the show’s catalogue, artist and writer Jennifer Marshall, who assisted Snyder and Mockler with the production of Chant/Forever, notes the spiritual influence in the artist’s work: “The Hebrew words from the Kaddish, the Jewish Prayer of Mourning, which has appeared over and over in her work along with the text from the Requiem mass from the Catholic liturgy, appears in several of the prints on view. In works such as For F and Requiem, the Latin text ‘requiem aeternam dona eis’ (give us eternal rest), reverberates softly through fields of color. In Prayer I, on view in the show, the words ‘ux perpetua luceat eis’ (let eternal light shine upon them), overlaid with words from the Kaddish are incorporated into the beauty of the garden. In Chant/Forever, Snyder’s use of repetition of words resembles the variations heard in choral music. We can hear the words as music. They resonate.”