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Ruth Snyder is an artist of profound wisdom. Her works reflect a specificity of power and intellect that comes with womanhood. Her sculptures and paintings are imbued with these qualities through the nature of her creative drive. Having lived and worked in Southern California throughout her life, she has sought to capture the atmosphere of its specific environment within her paintings. She worked for many years in a studio in Santa Monica, and was inspired by the sky and ocean surrounding her. Her work represents a particular state of being in the world- one where the transience of nature is familiar and where is asserts her feminine strength through its understanding.

While being abstract, her paintings represent an internalization of the landscape within the artist’s mind. Using layered washes of paint, be it watercolor or acrylic glazes, the paintings contain a freedom of movement of the brush. Land and sky, figure and ground, are blurred together and become one, and the sense of looking out into the distance is brought to close proximity to the viewer. Each painting within the “Malibu Series” contains a wholeness that is akin to that of traditional Japanese landscape paintings. Rather than painting the world “out there”, she paints the landscape as she perceives it, collapsing divisions or dualities. Ruth Snyder’s paintings encapsulate the feeling of vastness and bring it into the foreground. Looking at her paintings, one feels an immediacy of sensation. The distance of an ocean horizon seems to be something one can touch, simply through its description in her loose brushwork.

In her figurative sculpture, the immediacy of sensation is found in the direct and aggressive modeling of the clay. This haptic quality is translated beautifully into the final bronzes. The dancers, runners, and moving women she creates are powerful and fully emerge into the world. Her sculptures share an affinity with those of Alberto Giacometti, whose figures hold their weight as they seem to be compacted by the space surrounding them. However, Snyder’s sculptures are not isolated monads. Rather, they carry their massive bodies through space with grace and elegance.

Ruth Snyder’s work carries forward a message about the power women possess and the joy within a full awareness of the beauty of light and space. Her perceptions about the atmosphere of the environment she inhabits are expressed through the gestures carried through her paintings and sculptures. This lifelong body of work represents her own beautiful state of being and reflect her particular state of grace.

– by Marina Pinsky

Ruth Cozen Snyder is a resident of Los Angeles



University of California, Los Angeles

Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles


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An Editorial Review from…


At 38 Newbury St. is the new gallery: Boston Fine Arts. This spacious venue, which occupies the building’s entire fifth floor, is directed by Young Boone Kim.

The summer show is sculpture and paintings by Los Angeles artist Ruth Snyder. Her bronze sculptures and painted studies are poignant representations of the human figure. Beautifully modeled, small scale works, the sculptures depict figures at rest and in motion. Often fragmented and featureless, they are influenced by the expressive passion of Rodin, and by Degas’ fascination with movement. There are also ironic echoes of Gaston Lachaise. Like that sculptor’s, many of Snyder’s monumental female torsos taper to delicate ankles. But while Lachaise caricatured female sexuality, Snyder’s response to the female figure is empathetic.

This is especially evident in a series on the theme of mother and child. In one, a seated woman balances a sleeping toddler on one leg. Although the woman has no arms, the strong sense of connection between mother and child suggests that her offspring is as intrinsic to her as any limb.

A group of bronze masks, also included in the exhibit, is haunting; they act as shields to identity, yet reveal an inner spirit.

– by Nancy Stapen