Joan Snyder’s abstract expressionist paintings, often created using unconventional materials and techniques, ushered in a new era of feminist art. Influenced by German and Russian expressionists like Kandinsky, Snyder began incorporating what she saw as feminine elements into her paintings like beans, thread, silk, and flocking, a thin cloth. Her early flock/membrane paintings were anthropomorphic, but gave way to a new style of bleeding lines and squares for her “Stroke” series, which were included in the Whitney 1973 and Corcoran 1975 biennials. Her work shifted again to feature slashed and stuffed canvases, collage, and wound-like forms as she explored ideas of violence and the feminine. She initiated the Women Artists Series at Douglass College and curated it in 1971, its first year, at the cusp of the feminist art movement. She also helped found the Heresies collective for women artists, critics and historians. Her work continued to grow and change, incorporating autobiographical elements and exploring issues of violence towards women around the world, and can be found in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Jewish Museum, and MOMA, among others.
How to cite this page
Jewish Women's Archive. "Joan Snyder." (Viewed on June 12, 2021) <https://jwa.org/people/snyder-joan>.