Hills Snyder: Flaternité
November 12 – December 31, 2005
Reception Saturday, November 12, 2005, 5 – 7 PM
Gallery Sonja Roesch
2309 Caroline Street
Houston, TX 77004 / (713) 659 5424
The title of Hills Snyder’s exhibition Flaternité is derived from a motto that appeared during the French Revolution:
Liberté, Equalité, Fraternité. His associative use of the term conflates this relic from the Age of Enlightenment
with the notion of an eternal Flatland in which sameness is fore-grounded at the expense of eccentricity.
The exhibition will feature works arranged around a central theme which only emerges when the individual works are
considered as a whole: Eiffel tower, guillotine, bathtub, bucket...
One work titled Gesture is offered in an edition endless and can only be purchased by making a $250 contribution
to the Halo Trust which works to remove land mines and other debris of war. http://www.halotrust.org/
Freud to Martha Bernays, after climbing the Eiffel Tower:
“One climbs up 300 steps, it is very dark, very lonely, on every step I could have given you a kiss if you had been
with me, and you would have reached the top quite out of breath and wild.”
Hills will perform a new song at the reception.
Quoting Bret McCabe:
“The ebullience with which Snyder’s work is made translates into comic relief on the wall — the imposing, frightful
economy of death symbolized by the guillotine becomes something that looks like it could be made out of
Legos. But how these works are comical is less interesting than why Snyder may have created and exhibited these i
mages in this manner. The best answer to that question runs through Site, the white bathtub with circular cutouts
revealing red beneath them. It is, without a doubt, an allusion to Jean-Paul Marat's bathtub, where the revolutionary
was slain. But its layers of meaning are more provocative than mere postmodern synecdoche. This transforming —
or in the case of Marat, nearly transubstantiating — power of visual iconography is at the core of Snyder's work.
He fuses historical and visual elements to precipitate powerfully daunting ideas that linger once you see beyond his
Hills recently completed a project in the Artpace International Artist in Residence Program. Titled Book of the Dead,
the work caused an unprecedented sensation, attracting great notice and tripling usual attendance.
It is widely believed that the artist was born in Lubbock, Texas though some say it was on a mountaintop in
Tennessee. The year of his birth is known to be 1950. He has lived in a string of small towns throughout his life
including Miles City, Montana and Oskaloosa, Kansas. He currently resides in Helotes, Texas.