International art critic, Remo Nevi describes M.L. Snowden as a “Great figurative contemporary master whose profound and powerfully realized portfolio places the artist among the world’s most respected representational sculptors at work today.”
Such praise is normal for her as one of the most venerated of American sculptors.
M.L. Snowden has spent her life surrounded by sculpture. Her earliest memories and every waking moment of her life include sculpture. From the age of four, she played in her father’s sculpture studio watching him with the unwavering attention of a child enthralled and enchanted. At the age of seven she began working with clay alongside her father.
“Clay is a magic material. It’s a mystery. Rodin (Auguste Rodin, 1840-1917, renowned French sculptor considered the progenitor of modern sculpture), saw it for himself when he came upon clay;that this was like an epiphany. It was this transformation, this fire that occurred. Everything that you are and you intend comes through and it’s still a mystery to me how what I feel evidences itself in what I have made.”
During 17 years as an apprentice, she learned Rodin’s transcendental sculpting techniques from her father, George H. Snowden, who had in turn been a favored student of Robert G. Eberhard, a protégé of the great French sculptors Auguste Rodin, Anton Mercie and Victor Peters. Each of the generations — the French masters, Swiss-born Eberhard, and American-born George Snowden — has contributed to the evolution of a unique heritage of sculpting that finds its contemporary expression through the spectacular works of M.L. Snowden.
Part of this broad, seminal heritage is generated by means of Rodin’s original sculpting tools; a physical connection with the gifts of Rodin’s prescient artistry.Snowden is the sole living inheritor of select 19th century marble carving, finishing, casting and bronze patinationtools.The 38 hallowed instruments -some of which the artist employs in sculpting her own works-are a grand symbol for M.L. Snowden and her patrons. They are an awe-inspiring foundation for her work, and an added impetus for support of her utter devotion and Rodin’s legacy.
Her works, largely in lost wax-cast bronze, explore the monumental forces and energies of geological phenomena and human figuration. They are intended to convey power and movement through abstract and representational elements. She has created nine “chapters” composed of more than 50 bronze sculptures, including: Terrestrial Forum, The Hydrosphere, The Atmosphere, Foundations of Synergy, Ascension of Elements, Celestial Array, Creation’s Gate, Creation, and The Brilliance Trilogy.
An Italian strain of technique – a Michelangelo-like “donna petrosa” effect – is exquisitely blended with it all. The artist’s highly formative years (benefiting from post-graduate study grants to the Vatican Collections in Rome, the Uffizi in Florence, and the Louvre in Paris) may account for the exquisite element.
During the last two decades, Snowden has pursued sculpture as an expression of titanic geological phenomena and the impact of mankind on his environment. In 1998 she was awarded the massive multi-million dollar Carano Gordon Atlanta Commission to create the sculptor’s vision for the largest cohesive body of bronze to be created in the latter half of the 20th century. In this collection, notable explorations of extrusion, inclusion, gravity pour techniques, innovative chasing protocols, recombinant jeweler and bronze techniques are expanded and advanced for the science of bronze metallurgy.
In Snowden’s “Geological Coreium”, the fine art of bronze is shaped, redefined and celebrated. The conceptual suite of “Coreium” was developed early in the sculptor’s consciousness through a study of geological science that began in the early 70’s; a geological science that propounded an increasing awareness of the Earth and cosmos as living entities subject to the same stasis and life cycles as humankind. Indeed, contemporary science confirms what great sculptors of history have known all along: marble, clay, and bronze are living substances.
“The geological program is a stepping stone,” comments Snowden. “The heroic possibilities of man; the risks and courage of striving; the fire and passion of creative enterprises; the spiritual force of men as they struggle for the actuation of their plans and work; these horizons are bundled into the sinew of the clay.”
Snowden’s devotion to sculpture has been acknowledged through the many awards bestowed upon her and her work. At the age of 36, she received the inaugural Alex Ettl Grant from the National Sculpture Society for “Lifetime Achievement in American Sculpture”. In 1992, she was awarded the world’s most prestigious sculpture prize — the International Rodin Competition Special Grand Prize — for her sculpture “Cataclasis”.In the year 2000, Snowden was commissioned to create the “Great Angels of the Main Altar” for the new $200 million Los Angeles Cathedral from a field of 8,000 international portfolios. In addition, Snowden is the sculptor of the “Los Angeles Angel Frieze” for the Cathedral’s Visitor’s Center.This is the first representation of a group of Angels for a permanent public setting in the history of the City of Los Angeles, the city of Angels. Most recently, Snowden was awarded the inaugural Presidential Order of Merit “In Recognition of Significant Contributions to the Betterment of Humanity through Art,” by the Fine Art Foundation. Her work also has been added to the Presidential Art Collection at the White House.
M.L. Snowden, in her own right, exhibits a force of nature as she molds together clay and bronze to express the intimate relationship of humankind, light and physical substance with exquisite beauty and understanding.
Sources: Angela King Gallery, Wikipedia, Collection Prive’e Gallery
Awards & Recognition
2013 – Publications: Four curatorial studies for the monograph, “G.H. Snowden: Masterworks of the 1927 Prix de Rome”; ARS Media Press; “G.H. Snowden: The Yale Memorial: 1931”, Pershing Hall
Installation: Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
2012 – Installations:Buckingham Palace. The Angel of Los Angeles, Collection of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II; Qatar. Miriam at the Parting of the Red Sea, Collection of the King and Queen of Qatar; Washington DC. World War II Memorial ; Butler Institute Of American Art,Cristal, Youngstown, OH; Museum Of Contemporary Art,Photon Study, Hot Springs, AR; Metropolitan Museum Of Art.Cataclasis,New York, NY
Publications: Book, “M.L. Snowden: Bronze Masterworks of the Geological Coreium”; Book, “M.L. Snowden Sculpture Museum”, Orlena Press; “Master Drawings of the Core: The Complete Cycle of M.L. Snowden Works on Paper”.
2011 – Exhibitions:Art Toronto Exposition, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Solo – Angela King Gallery, New Orleans, LA
Publications: Biography “M.L. Snowden: Bronze at the Millennium, ARS Media Press; “M.L. Snowden: Catalogue Raisonne”, Steinman Art Trust; “The Works of the Mathematica Aurea, Orlena Press.
2010 – Exhibitions. Galerie Yamane, Tokyo, Japan; Agalma Gallery, Buenos Aires, Argentina
2009– Exhibitions:John Gazahany Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA; Brookgreen Museum and Sculpture Garden (largest American outdoor sculpture garden)
2008 – Exhibitions: Solo – Angela King, Tribute to M.L. Snowden, New Orleans, LA; New Visions in Fine Art, Las Vegas, NV
Publications: “Monograph: The Creation Trilogy”, ARS Media Press; “Walking Tours of M.L. Snowden”, ARS Media Press
2006 – Publications: “M.L. Snowden: The Rodin Tools, Reflections on a Sculptural Heritage”, Posidonous, New York, NY; “M.L. Snowden Sculpture: Six Monographs”, Val Lambert, France:
“Impressions on Bronze: The Selected Public Lectures and Quotations of M.L. Snowden”, Posidonous, New York, NY
2005 – Preservation Fund: Fine Art Enterprises’ Syndicate, Australia creates multi-million dollar fund to collect and preserve entire GEOLOGICAL COREIUM collection by M.L. Snowden
Solo Exhibitions: Fingerhut, La Jolla, CA; Hanson Gallery, New Orleans, LA; Galerie D’Orsay, Boston, MA
Private Commission: “Rhexodus” for the Adler Collection, Australia
2004 – Invitational Exhibitions. Florence Biennale, Florence, Italy and Art Basel, Basel, Switzerland
White House Collection: Sculpture prepared for 2005 Presidential Inaugural Presentation
Solo Exhibitions: New River Fine Art, Florida; Fingerhut, La Jolla, CA: Pacific Design Center, Beverly Hills, CA
Dedication: Glendale Memorial “Shield Protectite” Glendale, California; Installation of 15 foot, 5 ton bronze monument with four flanking bronze reliefs
Documentary Film: “ Snowden: Contemporary Master”, produced by ARS Media Associates
Publication: limited edition book “Snowden’s Geological Collection, Clay for Bronze”, Orlena Press
2003 – Ground Zero Memorial: International competition,in concert with Jerry Yates Associates and Eric Yeh, building the sculptural element for the 9/11 Memorial site
Exhibitions: Metropolitan Pavilion, New York, NY; Jacob Javits Center, New York, NY; Geological Coreium. Cycle III, Carano, Gordon Atlanta
Award: “American Sculptor of the Year”; The Fine Arts Foundation
2002 – Solo Exhibitions: “The M.L. Snowden Grand Legacy of Rodin Gala” multi-million dollar event, Beverly Hills, CA; Galerie D’Orsay, Boston, MA; Central World War II memorial sculpture for the National Mall, Washington D.C.; ongoing to present
Publication: Monographs, “Great Golden Angels of the Main Altar”; The Glendale Memorial; Orlena Press
National Television Interview: CNN Nationwide
2001– Award: Presidential order of merit for “Outstanding Contributions to the Betterment of Humanity through Art”, The Academy of Fine Art Foundation
Exhibitions:Solo – Hanson Gallery, Carmel, CA; Gala – City of Carson (CA) Fine Art and Historical Commission; Invitational – Los Angeles Convention Center, CA
Publications: “M.L. Snowden Sculpture: The Destroyed Clays Of The Geological Collection”, Orlena Press; Monographs “M.L. Snowden Sculpture”, Val Lambert, France; Masterpiece Publishing Inc.
2000 – Commissions:Los Angeles Cathedral – “The Great Golden Angels” for the main altar of new $200 million church and “Los Angeles Angel Frieze Panel”, half ton bronze relief; Geological Coreium. Cycle II forCarano, Gordon Atlanta; Glendale Memorial – five ton bronze sculpture and fountain setting for new $56 million Glendale Police Plaza, Glendale, CA
Feature Films: “The Legacy of Rodin and M.L. Snowden”, produced for NOVA; “M.L Snowden, Creator of the Glendale Memorial”, produced by Waskul Worldwide Communications
1999 – Exhibitions: Jacob Javits Center, New York, NY; Randall Winn Galleries, CA; Miranda Galleries, CA; City of Carson, CA; Permanent Exhibit “Cataclasis”, City of Carson Civic Center, CA
Solo Exhibitions: Emerald City, Seattle, WA; Addi Galleries, Union Square, San Francisco, CA; Merrill Chase, Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL; Dyansen, Boston, MA; Dolphin Galleries, Hawaii; Galerie D’Orsay, Boston, MA; Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York City, NY; Hanson Galleries, New Orleans, LA
1998 – Publication: Book “The Sculpture of M.L. Snowden”, Masterpiece Publishing
Commission: Geological Coreium: 22 monumental bronzes commissioned by Carano, Gordon Atlanta
Solo Exhibitions: 16 American City Tour, incl. Boston, Chicago, New York; “Legacy of Rodin”, Los Angeles Convention Center
Feature Films: “The Legacy of Rodin”&“The Sculpture of M.L. Snowden”, Gemstar Productions/Blossom Media Associates
1994 – Award:Grace Jordan Trust Memorial for Sculpture
1993 – Exhibition: Permanent Collection, Hakone Open-Air Museum, Tokyo, Japan; world’s largest outdoor sculpture museum
1992 – Award: World winner, International Rodin Competition, Utsukushi-ga-hara Open-Air Museum, Tokyo, Japan
Permanent Archives: National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; Brookgreen Sculpture Gardens, South Carolina; The Historical Archives of the National Sculpture Society in New York City; and The Hakone Open-Air Museum, Japan
Exhibition: “Snowden: International Winner Of The Rodin Prize”, Grand Palais, Paris, France
1991–Commission: William Miller MemorialforCentinela Hospital Medical Center
1989 – Award: “Inaugural American Winner: Lifetime Achievement in American Sculpture”, National Sculpture Society, New York, NY
1986 –Commission: Ira Kaufman Memorial for Centinela Hospital Medical Center
1984 –Commission: Olympic Games Commemorative Panel or Centinela Hospital Medical Center, Inglewood, CA
1983–Award: Nathan Duprat Award. AGA European Sculptors Atelier, GalerieDuprat, Paris, France
Inauguration of Snowden Studios gallery, CA and European exhibition tour
1982 –Commission: Albert Gersten Memorial commissioned for Gersten Athletic Pavilion, Loyola University
Exhibitions: Bowater Gallery, CA; S. U. K. Gallery, New York; First Art Expo, Los Angeles Convention Center, CA; Artists of the West Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1981 – Exhibition: “Three Worlds: Snowden, Kendall and Bushann”, Bowater Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA
1980–Commission: Frank Sullivan Portrait Memorial by California Arts Council
1979 – Exhibitions:Salon of Art, Ebell Club, CA; Spencer’s Huntington Galleries, CA; Glendale Federal Gallery, CA; Showcase 21, CA; Bowater Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA; National Sculpture Society, New York
1978 – Solo Exhibitions: Classic Gallery, Beverly Hills, CA; Spencer’s Huntington Galleries, CA; Los Angeles Patrons of The Fine Arts, CA
1977 – Exhibitions: Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles; Solo Exhibition and Television Interview, Columbia Studios, CA; Showcase 21, Los Angeles, CA; Glendale Federal Gallery, CA
1976 –Exhibition: Le Sculpture Et Les Dessins De M.L. Snowden:Societé de Bonaparte, Paris, France
1975 –Award: PremioD’oro:InstitutoBrindesiEsposizione, Verona, Italy
1974 – Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Magna Cum Laude, Loyola University, CA
Awards:Try Foundation Award: (extended European post graduate residence and study at The Louvre, Paris, France; The Vatican collections, Rome, Italy; The Uffizi, Florence, Italy; and the Academy of the Foundation, Conservatoire dall’ Abaco, Verona, Italy (1974-1976). Medaille De Premier Classe: Exposition Annuelle Des Beaux Arts, Paris, France