“My paintings are done by a filmmaker, my sculpture by a musician, my films by a painter, my music by a filmmaker, my paintings by a sculptor, my sculpture by a filmmaker, my films by a musician, my music by a sculptor… who sometimes all work together.” 1967
Michael Snow attended the Ontario College of Art and specialized in design while he played piano in a jazz group and developed his painting skills independently. In 1952 he completed his studies and spent eighteen months travelling in Europe. Back in Toronto he had his first solo exhibition at the Avrom Isaacs’ Greenwich Gallery. He produced his first film while working for Graphics Film, where he met artist and filmmaker Joyce Wieland (1930-1998) to whom he was married. The couple settled in New York in the early 1960’s until their return to Toronto in 1972.
In New York, he developed a major work, the Walking Woman series. From 1961 to 1967 he explored the visual representation of a walking woman in profile in various media, in three-dimensional sculpture, photographs and in performances. He produced an eleven-part sculpture on the Walking Woman for the Ontario pavilion at Expo’67 in Montreal.
Snow produces work that displays innovative ways of representing time and space. His experimental film Wavelength is noted for its very slow and lengthy 45 minute camera zoom. Other important films include La Région Centrale that was produced with a mechanical arm that allowed the camera to rotate in all directions and at various speeds.
Michael Snow has been honoured with solo exhibitions and retrospectives around the world including: the Venice Biennale in 1970; Documenta 6, 1977; Centre Pompidou, Paris 2002-03. He has earned numerous international awards and titles and his works in all media are found in public collections around the world.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, 10 December 1928
Becoming a visual artist (1 min 15 sec)
The Ontario College of Art and John Martin (1 min 17 sec)
The Table (1 min 10 sec)
Abstract work 1959-61 (2 min 18 sec)
Shunt (0 min 56 sec)
Window (1 min 20 sec)
Lac Clair (1 min 42 sec)
Clothed Woman - In Memory of My Father (2 min 22 sec)
Snowstorm (2 min 24 sec)
Blind (2 min 3 sec)
Authorization (2 min 57 sec)
De La - its origins (2 min 13 sec)
De La - the work (1 min 12 sec)
The Artists' Jazz Band (2 min 14 sec)
Plus Tard - origins (3 min 30 sec)
The Squerr (Ch'art) (2 min 0 sec)
Trinities, Triads, and Trios (1 min 56 sec)
Film - the beginnings (2 min 17 sec)
Film - the beginnings - part 2 (2 min 6 sec)
Library and Archives