This monumental gouache collage is of five floating female nudes in various poses. Their bodies, rendered in red, blue, white, and various ochres, overlap with each other and with abstract forms within an ambiguous space. Curator and art historian Dennis Reid has suggested that this sensuous composition was influenced by Spanish artist Pablo Picasso’s famed painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907. Regarded as the first Cubist work, Les Demoiselles depicts a group of five prostitutes in a brothel. January Jubilee Ladies also contains five female figures, although they are more conventionally feminine compared to Picasso’s women, who possess disjointed and angular features.
Early Snow: Michael Snow 1947-1962
Michael Snow, January Jubilee Ladies, 1961
Chalk, gouache and paper collage on corrugated cardboard, 137.2 x 190.5 cm, Global Affairs Canada Visual Art Collection, Ottawa (C.C.73).