In this painting of a classical concert, Snow conveys the anticipation of the crowd and the inner world of the performer, Colin Curd, right before he begins to play. The young, classically trained English flautist and Snow discussed their relationship to their respective audiences, who may approach a musical performance or artwork with positive or negative preconceptions. Here Curd twists his head and body away from the audience and instead faces the viewer. The all-over, mottled surface texture of the painting, created using a technique called scumbling, shows Snow’s deep interest in the interplay between the flat surface of the canvas and the depiction of three-dimensional objects.
Early Snow: Michael Snow 1947-1962
Michael Snow, Colin Curd About to Play, 1953
Oil on canvas, 148.6 x 79.4 cm, Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Gift of Sam and Ayala Zacks, Toronto, 1970 (70/253). © Michael Snow, Photo © Art Gallery of Ontario.