Franklin Parrasch Gallery presents Mulberry and Canal, an exhibition which examines the early years of the careers of Joan Snyder, Keith Sonnier, and Jackie Winsor, with a particular focus on the period between 1967 and 1975 when the three lived together in a converted multi-story warehouse at 105 Mulberry Street, near Canal Street in lower Manhattan.
Joan Snyder has said that “the strokes in [her] paintings speak of [her] life and experiences.” In 1969, at a crossroads in her work, Snyder described her thoughts while agonizing over how to proceed with her next painting. “One day I was sitting and looking at a painting of mine trying desperately to figure out what I wanted and what I wasn’t getting.” Her husband at the time, the photographer Larry Fink, was heading to the Woodstock Music Festival in upstate New York while she stayed in her studio. “I looked at the wall beneath the canvas. The wall has wooden boards so it’s a vertical grid. And there were these delicate little drips - pink, red, and blue - beautiful, water-like drips from my canvas.” Snyder recognized a relationship between pencil drawn grid lines and the physical gesture of a paint stroke within the grid, and began a new exploration into the nature of her process, creating the first in a seminal series she called “Stroke Paintings”. “I knew while I was doing it that I had made a breakthrough,” Snyder recalled. “I was painting paint strokes. The strokes had become a physical reality, not an illusion.” Snyder’s 1971 paintingMulberry and Canal, from which this exhibition derives its title, reflects the artist’s maturated contemplation of the physical stroke structure within a vertical grid format. This painting, along with a 1969 work entitled Flock Painting of Women, both included in this show, illustrate the dramatic course of change and growth during her time living and working in the building