The latest exhibit at the Marco Island Historical Museum (MIHM) features several three-dimensional sculptures and canvases by the internationally acclaimed artist George Snyder. A visit to Snyder’s world is like a visit to a land of imagination, full of bold colors, oversized shapes and designs and the wild and wacky.
Jennifer Perry, the Museum’s manager, describes Snyder’s work as “sophisticated with a strong sense of whimsy.”
The unusual nature of Snyder’s art is obvious right at the entrance of the gallery. A brilliantly painted configuration of PVC tubing stands on end and reaches six to over nine feet in the air. Snyder calls this sculpture grouping “pods,” but visitors to the Museum have had other descriptions.
A visitor from Ohio likened the piece to genetically engineered bamboo, grown for a specialspecies of panda not of this world. Another visitor from New York, with an equally fanciful imagination, suggested a parade of colorful swizzle sticks ready for olives and a cocktail party for giants. Snyder would agree with both interpretations. “Art happens in the mind. It is about ideas, not objects,” claims Snyder.
At the back wall of the gallery, hang a series of graphic configurations in explosive colors and oversized proportions. From a distance, they appear sculptural, an army of gigantic Slinkys or “Urchins,” as Snyder refers to them, lined up in contortionist poses; up close, they are flat and made of painted wood. Snyder’s skill at applying acrylics is what creates their sense of three-dimensionality.
Snyder is one of a handful of well-known contemporary artists, including Paul Jenkins, RobertRauschenberg and Arthur Secunda, who are considered innovators in the use of acrylics. He carefully hand-paints each design, using tape to define hard-edged lines and geometric patterns and shapes, and then applies layer upon layer of rich, jewel-like colors until he achieves an airbrushed finish.
Included in this show are some of Snyder’s landscapes. Unlike his sculptural work, they are traditional, serene, and highly stylized. Yet, there is a twist. The landscapes are nestled within a wide framework of double mats, which are, upon closer examination, an optical illusion—a wonderful example of trompe l’oeil—and an integral part of the painting.
Snyder’s work will be on exhibit through May 2 and can be seen 9 AM to 4 PM, Tuesday-Saturday. The Museum is located at 180 S. Heathwood Drive on Marco, across from the library.
For more information, contact theMIHS.com or call 239-389-6447.