Snow’s representations of the female nude form a significant part of his output from 1953 to 1959 and were created at the same time that he began to paint abstract compositions. Awash with subdued pinks and yellows, Seated Nude comprises overlapping cutouts of a female body that suggest physical movement. The sinuous contours of the body are abruptly disrupted by linear excisions of the head, hands, and feet. Seated Nude bears a strong resemblance to Dutch-American Abstract Expressionist Willem de Kooning’s Pink Angels, around 1945, particularly in terms of the deconstructed female body and colour palette. Seated Nude is one of the collages that led to the Walking Woman figure—central to one of Snow’s most famous series.
Early Snow: Michael Snow 1947-1962
Michael Snow, Seated Nude, 1955
Collage with dyes and watercolour on paper, 101.4 x 75.9 cm, Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, purchased with funds donated by AGO Members, 1999 (99/4). © Michael Snow, Photo © Art Gallery of Ontario