In 1974, after working on her 'stroke' paintings – intense swaths of color painted over pencil-drawn grids – Joan Snyder began in earnest to make paintings which had what she referred to as a female sensibility. "In the early 1970s, women were forming groups and talking about things political and personal, and about our art," says Snyder. She says that these dialogues influenced the art world. "Women’s work helped to pump the blood back into what were dry, cold, and minimal years in the art world in the late 1960s."
Over the four decades of her prolific career, Snyder’s body of work has continually evolved in style and form. Beginning with the stroke paintings, Snyder's works have been essentially narratives of both personal and communal experiences. After abandoning formal grids as the basic structure of her paintings, Snyder’s work became more explicitly gestural and rooted in memory, while at the same time more complex materially.
The MacArthur Foundation profile of Joan Snyder declares that her paintings "mirror her personal experience, but, at the same time, the visual messages she provides through her images convey universal and readily understood emotions. Through a fiercely individual approach and persistent experimentation with technique and materials, Snyder has extended the expressive potential of abstract painting and inspired a generation of emerging artists."
:artnet; nielsen gallery