This unusual double-sided sculpture is the first of Snow’s works to feature a frame as a central component; the first to incorporate transparent coloured glass or plastic; and the only one to include unaltered found objects. Snow was interested in creating a three-dimensional work that could be looked through, was framed like a painting, and had strong tactile qualities. Window recalls Helmholtzian Landscape, 1946, by American Abstract Expressionist sculptor David Smith, although Snow was not aware of this work at the time. Smith’s piece also contains three-dimensional objects within a frame, but they are self-made and abstract in form.
Michael Snow, Window, 1960
Wood, acrylic, polyethylene, glass, paper, cotton, wire, sheet metal, chrome-plated sheet metal, 86.4 x 67.3 x 10.2 cm, Collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, purchased 1970 (15922). Photo credit: National Gallery of Canada.