Colour pulsates, thumps and skids across the surfaces of the eight paintings featured in Sylvia Snowden’s new exhibition M Street on White at Edel Assanti, London. These powerful paintings condense the psychological essence of her subjects: their triumphs, torment, joy and pain are described in thick impasto. These are not traditional portraits of her subjects – rather, through abstraction and improvisation, she seeks to create a psychological human connection between herself, her subject and her viewers: ‘I see things in other people that are reflected in me.’
Snowden’s intuitive expressions of fundamental human qualities push beyond gender, beyond race, beyond class – all of these things are outside of what she is trying to paint, even if these are forces that shape which emotions come to the surface or are evident in a given person, moment or context. Her work defines the figure as both a formal and profoundly psychological entity, while simultaneously pulling Black American political history into the traditions of Western painting.
Edel Assanti. 14 September - 28 October 2023. Free entry.
© Sylvia Snowden.