In this dream-like scene, an unsettling proliferation of eyes emerges from the swirling lines that form a male figure seated at a table and a nude woman standing next to him. The man’s body is composed of inverted wine glasses, whose bases also represent his eyes. The contours of the woman’s body are primarily defined by two interweaving lines, which create a series of vertical almond shapes that again reference the human eye. Snow’s preoccupation with eyesight in this work may signify its importance to the artistic process. Alternatively, the artist may have been reflecting on his father’s impaired vision.
Early Snow: Michael Snow 1947-1962
Michael Snow, Ocul, 1954
Black pen and ink and colour dyes on paper, 51.2 x 74 cm, Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, purchase, 1970 (70/5). © Michael Snow, Photo © Art Gallery of Ontario.