States Of Being

Michael Snow

Feb 09 – Mar 11, 2006
513 West 20th Street New York, NY 10011

Press Release


February 9 – March 11, 2006

The Jack Shainman Gallery is proud to announce the presentation of a solo exhibition by artist Michael Snow consisting in one early and one recent projection works, entitled“Little Walk” (1964) and “Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)” (2002).Both works were featured in Snow’s exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, during the months of October and November of 2005.

“Little Walk” is a dynamic, 12” silent loop characteristic of the experimental works made by the artist in that decade.Between 1961 and 1967, Snow’s work in all media was based on the naturalistic silhouette of a young woman. Made out originally from the outline or of a cardboard cut-out, the image of the walking woman became both tool and subject in Snow’s work.Many photographic works, films and performance pieces resulted as part of this exploration.“Little Walk”, which belongs to this series, was originally made for an exhibition organized by Jonas Mekas entitled “Expanded Cinema”. The work, originally shot in 8mm, has now been transferred to DVD.

“Solar Breath...” is a 62” loop of fluttering curtains that reveal and conceal an idyllic landscape in rural Newfounland.The work is a result of artist’s observations of a window of his summer cabin in Canada. Over the years, according to him, “a mysterious wind performance takes place in one of the windows, about an hour before sunset”.The artist seek to capture in the film the various movements and folds that the window’s curtain creates against the window’s screen, with the interaction of the wind.

This work, according to the artist himself, belongs to a group of film and photographic works who take subjects that were not formed by the artist as “art”, but rather were “taken-by-surprise” by the artist. In a text about this work, the artist writes:

“What I saw in these sun-and-wind events was their potential as art. I did not record these "events" to share this modest phenomenon from my daily life with others. No, the rich play of light, surfaces and durations said to me: this real, un-staged event contains the elements which are essential for a contemplative time-light-motion work of art, a "motion picture" with "plastic" values and reverberant associations which will reward many viewings.”

The artist adds: “While on one level, Solar Breath is merely a fixed-camera documentary recording, it is also the result of years of attention....Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids) is 62 minutes of the most beautiful, eloquent movements and pliages that the sun, wind, windows and curtain have yet composed. Chance and choice co-exist.”

Michael Snow is a visual artist, filmmaker and musician originally from Toronto. He first exhibited in 1956 and in the 1960s became internationally renowned with his film “Wavelength”.His work can be found in many of the most renowned contemporary art collections in the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musee d’Art Moderne de Paris and the National Gallery of Canada. He has represented Canada at the Venice Bienalle and has exhibited at most international major biennials.

Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. For additional information and photographic material please contact the gallery at