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Theatre, 1959

Michael Snow
Canadian, 1929
charcoal on wove paper
41.2 x 32.3 cm
Purchased 1970
National Gallery of Canada (no. 16567)

Theatre and the spectator are important themes in the work of Michael Snow, who also works as a filmmaker. The year this drawing was made, Snow played jazz piano six nights a week in a band that performed at the Westover Hotel, Toronto. The objects in this drawing appear to include a chair and a ladder and are arranged without much suggestion as to depth or spatial relation to one another. The rubbing and smudging of the charcoal forms further remove the objects from direct representation. What we see is transformed into a kind of visual puzzle, inviting the viewer to reassemble the image from memories of more familiar theatrical settings.

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