Dancing with the Dark, Joan Snyder Prints 1963 – 2010 is the first exhibition about Joan Snyder’s adventurous approach to printmaking, a medium in which she has worked extensively for over forty-five years. Recognized as one of the pioneering voices that championed feminism, Snyder’s woodcuts, etchings, lithographs, and monotypes are an integral part of her powerful art that is motivated by her insightful revelations about herself as an artist, motherhood, female sexuality, social injustice, identity, and, mortality. These themes are often expressed through a personalized vocabulary of symbols that includes flowers, hearts, seedpods, trees and words.
Organized by Marilyn Symmes, director of the Morse Research Center for Graphic Arts and Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University, this exhibition presents over eighty of Snyder’s rarely seen editioned and uneditioned prints, unique hand-colored monoprints, and progressive proofs and variant impressions which range from the earliest landscape and portrait woodcuts, to mid-career prints and luscious recent works up to 2010. Symmes has stated, “Joan’s art is autobiographic and serves as a visual diary. Her prints, like her paintings, explore and expose her anxieties and passions, as well as strongly express her feelings of joy, rage or sorrow. Her background as a painter is evident in her execution of prints, which are full of textured, gestural forms and painterly applications of vivid color.”
Joan Snyder’s work resides in many museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.; and, the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. In 2007, she received a prestigious John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.