Sylvia Snowden’s M Street series is focused upon images of people she knew from her immediate surroundings in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C.. In the mid-1970s, in the midst of ongoing gentrification and displacement, Snowden felt the urgency of the lives of people she encountered in her neighborhood – many of whom were transient, unemployed, and/or unhoused – and she responded to her perceptions of their energies in her work. In 1988, critic Alice Thorson wrote a now-essential essay, titled Sylvia Snowden: Engaging Expressionism, for the New Art Examiner in which she observed that “a sense of identification with her subjects gives Snowden’s work a rare conviction. Few painters have peered so deeply into the human heart, or proved so adept at divulging its secrets.” As Snowden created each of the M Street works, she responded to the impact and individuality of each person she chose to paint, honoring their presence. The dramas of Snowden’s subjects’ struggles, and the sheer grace of their ability to survive and thrive, references the strength of delicate beauty in the human figure that Snowden’s art celebrates.
The catalogue features a text by curator Gavin Delahunty, a foreword by Franklin Parrasch, an interview with artist Nathaniel Mary Quinn, and an essay by Dr. Rebecca Van Diver.
- Hardcover with dustjacket, 108 pages
- 9 x 11 1/4 inches, portrait
- First printing, April 2022