Massey Klein Gallery is pleased to present The Poet Aster, a solo exhibition of new paintings and drawings by Stuart Snoddy. The exhibition will be on view from June 3rd through July 16th in Massey Klein’s east gallery room. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.
My current work is concerned with themes of the artist’s studio, pedagogy, portraiture and the artist’s model. I’m imagining the artist’s model on break and elaborating on that moment—or those five moments rather. I’m also thinking about the student at the drawing horse copying a Harold Speed sketch. I’m thinking about how he would be mindful to not get charcoal dust on his tie. I’ve been teaching for the last couple of years and have gleaned from my experience a conceptual starting point that ties my daily “contemporary” routine to my studies of, and fantasies about, art from the past. I’m always trying to bridge that nostalgic gap and, to some degree, rewrite my own bio.
The Poet Aster presents a new collection of paintings and drawings that focus on the complexity of self through a fantastical exploration of otherness and imagination. The artist, acting as both author and director, integrates storytelling and fantasy into these works to illustrate a fabricated exotic culture. Rather than simply illustrating real-life pleasant memories, ones that deteriorate or sour when over-scrutinized, Snoddy’s observational paintings are snapshots of thoughts and memories that emerge from consciousness, kept safe from over-analytical deterioration by remaining firmly rooted in fantasy.
With ties to the historical tradition of American illustration, academic painting, and cinema, the artist’s work portrays people and environments that, while inspired by real life, surface from the artist’s yearning imagination and solidly occupy their own world. Working with oil on panel in small formats, Snoddy employs vibrant recurring color palettes and further animates this work with quick, energetic brushwork. His drawings, done either with charcoal on ink-toned paper or pastels are softer, though no less vibrant, depictions of the characters he creates.
Snoddy’s work is representative of the unease of nostalgia and his search for emotional richness, conveyed through the characters’ physical embodiment of longing, elation, sadness and love. By not shying away from the complete story of self, Snoddy’s constructed fantasies nurture the narrative of human life as cohesive intellectual and emotional beings.
Stuart Snoddy graduated with a BFA from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis and an MFA from Northern Illinois University (2015) and was selected to participate in the Atlantic Center for the Arts Artist-in-Residence program in New Smyrna Beach, FL in 2015. Snoddy is currently an instructor in Foundations and Painting at the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis. The artist has exhibited across the United States, including group exhibitions at the Indianapolis Art Center (2017), the McLean County Art Center in Bloomington, IL (2016) and the Harrison Center for the Arts in Indianapolis, IN (2016). Snoddy’s work has been featured more recently in solo exhibitions at the Farmer Family Gallery at the Ohio State University at Lima (The Fantasy Figures, 2019) and at the Harrison Center for the Arts (Singsong, 2019). The artist and his paintings have been featured in numerous print and online publications, such as New American Paintings and Hi-Fructose. The artist currently lives and works in Indianapolis, IN.
Massey Klein Gallery is located at 124 Forsyth St. New York, NY 10002. Gallery hours are Thursday – Sunday 12pm-5pm.