Michael Snow came of age during the 1950s in Toronto. This exhibition presents work from the Art Gallery of Hamilton’s permanent collection by two artist groups who were central to the city’s burgeoning art scene at the time: Painters Eleven and The Isaacs Group (artists associated with art dealer Avrom Isaacs (1926–2016)). It was a pivotal and catalytic decade, one that saw the emergence of a wide range of abstractions as well as the opening of a small number of commercial galleries interested in presenting young, ambitious, and experimental artists. These artists were Snow’s contemporaries and he was a leader among them. These were the visual surroundings Snow experienced during the 1950s and early 1960s before his departure for New York.
Snow is closely associated with The Isaacs Gallery. He was one of five artists (with Graham Coughtry, William Ronald, Gerald Scott, and Robert Varvarande) who inaugurated the Greenwich Gallery (later The Isaacs Gallery) in February 1956. Isaacs believed in the young Michael Snow, recognizing the integrity of his intellectual and aesthetic potential; Snow remained one of the Gallery’s premier artists for decades.
Artists include: Graham Coughtry, Joyce Wieland, Harold Town, Kazuo Nakamura, Robert Markle, Christiane Pflug, Hortense Gordon, Jack Bush and William Ronald, among others
Lead Image: Dennis Burton (Canadian 1933-2013), Egypt Asleep 1966, oil on canvas. The Art Gallery of Hamilton. Gift of Walter Carsen, 1995.