Agathe Snow’s current exhibition at The Journal in Williamsburg is a flurry of touchstones, compiling fragments of art history, domestic objects, knitted material, paint, and any number of accompanying materials to explore what the artist deems the full-length of human existence, an attempt at a totemic retelling of man’s relationship to the world around him. Objects cluster and clump together, or are cast into heaps and piles spread across the spacious confines of the gallery. The show, which continues the artist’s enigmatic approach towards sculpture, identity and its related historical contexts, is at times comic, and at others sobering, interrelating the artist’s personal life, themes of death and rebirth, and the always present backdrop of human culture.
The pieces on view at The Journal take the canon of art history as a starting point, weaving in subtle nods and bold implications to the history of 20th century sculpture. Pieces feel indebted at turns to Braque and Picasso, or to the move towards textiles and other craft-oriented materials that defined parts of the Post-War movements of contemporary art. The presence of books, guitars, pillows, and other pieces complement these forms, making subtle ties to historical design trends and pop culture. In others, the artist has realized animal forms, perched atop her works as if paused in contemplation.
Combined with the exhibition press release text, which ties in references to her son, his interest in the abstracted animal species of the PokéMon video game franchise, and vague allusions to a former lover (ostensibly the late Dash Snow), the exhibition takes on a sense of reflection, where Snow has placed her own memories and inspirations into exchange with her broader moorings in the art world and her life outside of art proper. Or perhaps more accurately, Snow examines her own life’s work, explicit in its inextricability from both the continuum of time (as its title implies), and its relation to the historical backdrop of human evolution, specifically through the palimpsestic, multi-faceted representations of art history and pop culture. Snow understands her place in an exchange with time on a human scale, where the objects she uses with are imbued with both personal significance and a deeper resonance of the cultural timeline.
Continuum is on view through January 10th.
— D. Creahan
Agathe Snow at Journal Gallery [Exhibition Site]