July 4, 2015

Michael Snow @ La Virreina Image Centre, Barcelona

Michael Snow: Sequences
La Virreina Image Centre, Barcelona

9 July - 1 November 2015

La Virreina Image Centre devotes a major retrospective to the Canadian artist Michael Snow.

Michael Snow: Sequences exhibits work from throughout his career, including many pieces never seen before in Europe, and reflects the wide range of media he has worked with: music, film, video, painting, sculpture, books and installations.

In all these media he explores the expressive possibilities of sound and image and challenges the vision/representation duality. His creative approach requires the active participation of the spectator, who is invited to see the object, perceive it, become involved with it. His compositions aim to direct attention in different ways and involve the viewer in the creative process. He breaks down boundaries not only by creating crossover pieces—both objects and images—but also by appreciating the space as a visual, plastic and sound element rather than a neutral container for creations.

The exhibition includes a programme of screenings, under the title Michael Snow, Sequences. A retrospective, that features a selection of the artist’s films. His film Wavelength, a landmark of avant-garde filmmaking eager to reflect on its own language, will be shown in the exhibition rooms of La Virreina Image Centre (screenings: 12.30 pm and 6 pm). In keeping with the artist's criteria, the rest of the programme will be screened at the Filmoteca de Catalunya.

Curator: Gloria Moure


Michael Snow was born in 1928 in Toronto, where he currently lives. As a musician, he has played the piano and other instruments both solo and with several ensembles (most frequently with the CCMC of Toronto) in Canada, the United States, Europe and Japan. He has also released a number of recordings. His work as a filmmaker has been screened at festivals worldwide and can be found in several film archives, including the Anthology Film Archives (New York), the Royal Belgian Film Archives (Brussels) and the Austrian Film Museum (Vienna), among others. In 1967 his film Wavelength won the Grand Prize at Exprmntl Experimental Film Festival in Knokke (Belgium), and in 1982 So Is This won a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award.

He is also a painter and sculptor, although since 1962 much of his work has been photography based or holographic. His work in all these media is represented in private and public collections worldwide, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), MoMA (New York), Museum Ludwig (Cologne and Vienna), the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), and the Musée des Beaux-Arts and Musée d’art contemporain (Montreal).

He has created video, film and sound installations, designed books such as Michael Snow / A Survey (1970) and Cover to Cover (1975) and carried out several public sculpture commissions, including Flight Stop at the Eaton Centre and The Audience at Skydome, both in Toronto.

He has had retrospective shows at the Hara Museum of Tokyo (1988), the Cinémathèque Française of Paris (1999), the Anthology Film Archives (New York) and the Institut Lumière (Lyon). In 1994 The Power Plant and the Art Gallery of Ontario, both in Toronto, put on simultaneous shows of his work in all media. Additional retrospective exhibitions have been mounted at the Vancouver Art Gallery (1967 and 1979) and the Musée d’art contemporain (Montreal, 1995), as well as at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Objects of Vision, Toronto, 2012) and at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Michael Snow: Photo-Centric, 2014).

He was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1982 and a Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et des lettres in 1995 (France). In 2004 he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Paris.

La Virreina Centre de la Imatge
Palau de la Virreina
La Rambla, 99. 08002 Barcelona

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