Published 12th February 2021
The artist Michael Snow (1930-2012) describes painting as "a way to learn to see". Through the necessity of looking into nature in order to paint, the result is a deeper, clearer better understanding of the world. Snow describes painting and nature as a two-way street where understanding one, enlightens and informs the other. He calls his art 'additions to nature, not imitations of it'.
Michael Snow was born in Manchester in 1930 and moved to St Ives in the 1950s where he was elected to The Penwith Society of Arts. There he formed friendships with the group of influential artists who had settled in Cornwall including Ben Nicholson, Barbara Hepworth, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, John Wells and Terry Frost.
While still up-north, Snow had visited a post-war exhibition of St Ives artists in Liverpool and saw paintings by Alexander Mackenzie (1923-2002) and it is the abstract-organic form of the work of Mackenzie that seems an early influence for Snow.
Mackenzie, like Snow, was a northerner who moved to Cornwall and became a teacher and art educator. By the 1970s, Snow's interest in nature included more scientific disciplines like mineralogy and cosmology. These interests formed an easy alliance between science and nature and this continued to inform Snow's art where investigating and understanding one, inspired the other.
Bearnes, Hampton & Littlewood in Exeter have a sold a variety of work by Snow in various mediums including sculpture. The titles for Snow's work reference location and nature like for example the oil on canvas Kenidjack (SS04/36) which is on the Cornish Coast within the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site and the drawing Sea Cliffs, Botallack (SS04/39) which are between St Ives and Land's End. The presence and activity of Nature and Form is referenced in the paintings Earth Slip (CC04/83) and Edge (CC04/86) and the Oval Forms (SS04/42) metal sculpture.
If you like these and would like to see more paintings by Michael Snow then look-out for our next 20th Century & Contemporary sale that will include a selection from a private collection.
Michael Snow was published on 12th February 2021.