Galleri Urbane is honored to welcome back San-Francisco-based artist Jessica Snow for her third solo exhibition with the gallery. Since her Dallas debut in 2013 with the exhibition In Living Color, Snow’s paintings have become instantly recognizable for their highly formal, vividly colored compositions. The conceptual underpinnings of her work have been informed by wide-ranging subjects including the mid-century modernist architecture of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, string theory, and the graphic musical scores of John Cage. Snow’s latest paintings for this exhibition, however, are borne from a much more introspective and personal journey that commenced during her travels in China last summer.
Titled Master of the Nets, this exhibition borrows its namesake from a classical Chinese garden in Suzhou. First constructed in 1140 during the Southern Song Dynasty, The Master of the Nets Garden owes its inspiration to the simple and solitary life of the fisherman figure in Chinese literati culture. A solitary character aboard a boat on a serene lake, the fisherman embodies the Daoist ideal of living at one with nature. This wholly effortless way of existing struck a chord with Snow and her outlook on creating a new body of work.
Forgoing the conceptual frameworks that began to leave her dissatisfied, Snow’s Master of the Nets series is approached from a much more intuitive place of mind. In line with the concept of wu wei, conscious control is relinquished in favor of painting that reflects “action in non-action,” or painting that is simply allowed to flow. Discussing this series, Snow states: “I imagine the fisherman throwing the nets down deep, and I too wanted to bring something unexpected up to the surface, to pull from below. The surface of the paintings is a metaphor for the rippling surface of the water, and the activity of painting is the grappling with the nets.”
The design behind the Suzhou garden is praised for its masterful use of dimension, contrast, foil, and borrowed scenery from the untamed natural world. A towering scholar’s rock is foiled by thin bamboo stalks nearby; a pond’s size is made to look greater by pavilions placed right on its edge. While Snow’s paintings and works on paper do not depict these physical elements, they are made with a similar interest in highlighting components like scale, space, shape, light, and shade that accentuate opposing qualities. In this respect, Master of
the Nets is a natural development of Snow’s practice which has always approached ideas through a highly formal lens. Still, the exhibition reflects a profound shift in Snow’s methods that offers the familiar and the unexpected all at once.
A public opening reception for Master of the Nets will take place at Galleri Urbane in Dallas on Saturday, October 13th, 2018, from 5:30-8:30pm, and a conversation with the artist will take place at 6:00pm.
Jessica Snow is an artist, educator, and curator based in San Francisco. Her painting is characterized by bright, playful geometrics, and her inspiration is fed by research into mid- century architecture, landscape design, 20th c. art history and Asian art history. In addition to the Dallas shows, she’s had several solo exhibitions in the Bay Area, New York, and Southern California, including the Riverside Art Museum. She’s been in group shows at the Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Crocker Art Museum, Monterey Art Museum and the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Internationally Jessica has participated in many group shows in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Thailand, Australia, Uruguay, Argentina, and Ukraine. Snow earned a BA from UC Davis and a MFA from Mills College, and also attended the Sorbonne and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She is adjunct professor in the Studio Art and Art History departments at University of San Francisco, and she’s the recipient of the Cadogan Fellowship Award, the Artadia Award in the Visual Arts Grant, and the US State Department's American Artists Abroad Program.