Skip to main content

Artists as Writers: Snow, Michael

Artist Biography

(Image from Wikimedia Commons.)

SNOW, Michael (1929 - )

Graduate of OCAD University

Areas of Expertise

Video art, sound art, film, integrated media


Born in Toronto on December 10, 1929. Lives and works in Toronto.

Senior artist and member of the Order of Canada, Michael Snow is a pioneer of conceptualist and multimedia practice in Canada and around the world. Snow was born in Toronto and studied at the Ontario College of Art. After his first exhibitions in the late 1950s, Snow experimented with a variety of media, breaking new ground in many. As a filmmaker, Snow is widely acclaimed: two films in particular, 1967’s Wavelength and 1971’s La Région Centrale, are important avant-garde-cinema works. Through the 1960s, mostly while living in New York, Snow also produced his famous Walking Woman series, a succession of paintings, sculptures and photographs exploring and reconsidering the treatment of the figure in art, all using the same cartoonish silhouette of a woman. (One Walking Woman sculpture was featured at Expo 67.) Since his return to Canada in the 1970s, Snow has engaged with various forms in an exploration of perception, representation, language and sound. (Snow is a noted improvisational musician, having had professional training in jazz.) Honours include the Chevalier de l’Ordre des arts et des lettres, France (1995), the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2000) and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (2011).

Biography of Michael Snow from Canadian Art.

Online Resources

Michael Snow: Life & Work by Martha Langford, published for free online by the Art Canada Institute.

Michael Snow at the Canadian Encycopedia.

Writing by Micheal Snow

Please note that not all works are available through the OCADU library. To acquire one of these works through Interlibrary Loan or other means, please contact the library for assistance.

Micheal Snow: Writing about his own art

Walking woman works: Michael Snow, 1961-67 by Dompierre, Louise; Snow, Michael. Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University, 1983. Available at OCADU Library.

Digital Snow (book and DVD). by Peggy Gale and Michael Snow. Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology, 2002. Available at OCADU Libary.

Commentary in Timelength, exhibition catalogue. Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, 2004.  Available at OCADU Library.

The Proust Questionnaire: Michael Snow. National Gallery of Canada. April 8, 2014. Read online.
Michael Snow fills out The Proust Questionnaire for the National Gallery of Canada.

Michael Snow: Writing about Film and Music

Music/Sound by Snow, Michael; Lancaster, David; Gervais, Raymond; Elder, Bruce. The Michael Snow project, 1994. Available at OCADU Library.

Micheal Snow: Other Writing: Scripts, letters, and more

Michael Snow: works 1969-1978, films 1964-1976 by Snow, Michael; Kunz, Martin. Kuntzmuseum Luzern, 1979. Available at OCADU Library.

The Collected Writings of Michael Snow by Michael Snow; Louise Dompierre. The Michael Snow Project, 1994. Available at OCADU Library.

Michael Snow Archival Fonds at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Includes correspondence (letters), notes about his artwork, and more.