Work of the Week: ‘Trio’ by Joan Snyder

The artist's exuberant abstractions, on view at Canada gallery in New York, are in high demand.

Joan Snyder, Trio, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and CANADA, New York. Photo by Adam Reich.

The art market’s contraction notwithstanding, collectors are clamoring for abstract paintings by 83-year-old artist Joan Snyder, whose solo show at Canada in New York is all but sold out.

A founding member of the feminist art movement, Snyder has been painting since the 1960s, using music and nature as inspiration. Look closely, and you’ll spot flower stems, leaves, rosebuds, mud, and straw amidst masses and pours of oil and acrylic paint that bring to mind the late Cy Twombly. In some works, strips of painted burlap are attached to the surface in a collage-like gesture. Snyder works on a large scale, with some paintings in the show as wide as nine feet. Prices range from $40,000 to $160,000. The triptych Trio is the only one of the 13 works in the show still available, at $110,000.

There’s also renewed interest in Snyder’s historic work, which echoes similar reevaluations of female artists of earlier generations. In November, two 1970s paintings by Snyder sparked bidding wars at auction. One, titled The Stripper (1973) from the collection of the late filmmaker Ivan Reitman, fetched $478,800 at Christie’s, many times more than the presale estimate of $80,000 to $120,000. The following day, another work, Celebration (1979), went for $239,400, more than four times its presale high estimate of $50,000.

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