Recent Acquisition: Agathe Snow

Agathe Snow, The Goldfinch, 2008

Agathe Snow, The Goldfinch, 2008. Curtain rods, key chain, papier-mâché, acrylic, thrift-store jacket, plastic, thread, and ceramic, 39 x 25 x 92 inches. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 2008.58. Photo: Farzad Owrang, Courtesy the artist and James Fuentes LLC, New York

The Guggenheim recently acquired Agathe Snow’s Goldfinch (2008), with funds contributed by the Young Collectors Council. Assistant Curator Katherine Brinson describes the work:

Agathe Snow’s (b. 1976, Corsica, France) work balances visions of apocalypse and entropic decay with an earnest faith in the redemptive power of human ingenuity and community. Her performances, ranging from carnivalesque banquets to her legendary dance marathons, operate as scenarios for uninhibited social exchange, always enacted with a fierce conceptual commitment. Performative elements and elaborate fictions also underpin Snow’s sculptural installations, which she fashions from an exuberant array of debris scavenged from local streets. With the transformative addition of paint, plaster, and collage, she coaxes her found objects and their attendant histories into evocative new forms that frequently develop and mutate over the course of an exhibition. Demonstrating the artist’s sustained fascination with mythic structures, Goldfinch (2008) is drawn from a body of work inspired by the fables of Leonardo da Vinci, in which she elucidates a relationship between Renaissance ideas and the modern paradigm of the American Dream. In this hanging mobile, painted papier-mâché bunnies—redolent of Jeff Koons’s iconic 1986 sculpture Rabbit—are combined with an inverted silhouette of a girl’s profile, an old sweater, and kitschy religious icons in a moment of tense suspended animation that evokes a tangle of narrative associations.


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