Mary Snowden, ‘Rooster’, Gail Severn Gallery

About Mary Snowden

With wry wit and through a feminist lens, Mary Snowden critiques the American domestic ideal in her paintings and works on paper. Focusing on inter- and post-war models of domesticity and femininity, she sources images from cookbooks, magazines, advertisements, and comic strips from the 1930s through ’50s—then turns them on their head. Through pointed combinations—like Little Orphan Annie surrounded by household objects and seated next to a pig—she upends the vision of the happy suburban housewife, revealing the malaise underlying this confining role. In Kitchen Polka (2000), Annie re-appears, this time at the door of a windowless house, watching as a giant, personified refrigerator sashays up to her. Recently, Snowden has turned to investigations of her family farm, with paintings that celebrate its animal inhabitants with a gentler humor, without the bite of her decidedly more critical works.

American, b. 1940, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, based in San Francisco, California