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“Pacific Seawall”


Pacific Seawall is an important sculpture that, together with the Cambrian Sea Fan; the Devonian Sea Fan, the Valentin Sea Fan, as well as the niveal exploration of Glacier Formation, celebrate the earth’s ever evolving aquatic sphere. Most notably, Pacific Seawall forms the opposing element of a composition completed by the sculpture, The Sea Creates. When displayed in proximity to each other, these two sculptures form a conceptual arc or bridge that describes the erosive and creative power of earth’s oceans to shape and influence the formation of land. When displayed alone, Pacific Seawall stands as an icon for the sculptured object.


Pacific Seawall is one of the most dynamic of Snowden’s sculptures, filled with a cataclysmic energy and power that builds a highly expressionistic and assertive visual composition. The sculpture is a double faced high relief with a reverse and obverse set upon a thin wall that exhibits a tour de force of sculptural modeling. Across the entirety of the composition, Snowden’s masterful power transforms the surface in sheer bravado; the figures literally hang like the shale tiers of a sheer sea cliff. If The Sea Creates is a portrait of the most powerful sculptor on earth, with the innumerable erosive fingers of the sea depicted in the shape of a breaking wave, then Pacific Sea Wall can be seen as the sculptural object itself. Indeed, for Snowden, The Sea Creates and Pacific Seawall are the respective self portraits of the feminine sculptor and her sculpture. Within The Sea Creates are the personal self portraits of the artist; within Pacific Seawall are representations of energy summaries that intricately define for Snowden, a corresponding masculine force with scales and depths of deformation. Both sides of Pacific Seawall depict figures in the process of being sculpted which gives a militant feel to the work as if both sides of the sculpture were under attack. All the pits and planes of the abstraction are shaped of the actual fingerprints of Snowden’s hands vigorously sweeping clay and bronze across the underlayment of the Rodin armature. All the figuration with their indentations of complex musculature are built by the fist prints of Snowden’s hands that have compressed form. The elan and power of Snowden’s finesse are recorded in this extraordinary work as well. Indeed, the compressive and erosive quality of the sculptural process has resulted in the rise of the figuration itself which Snowden sees as summaries of energy passages of compressing clay that warp into biomorphic forms of figuration in varying scales and levels of exposed integument.


Using no models or references to express form, Snowden sculpts differing levels of figural completion with the reverse wall of the sculpture exhibiting energy summaries that are to a degree, ecorche - without skin. The obverse upper figure of Pacific Seawall extends a hand that corresponds to the uppermost activated hand of The Sea Creates.


Pacific Seawall has been sculpted by Snowden into new levels of metallurgical virtuosity The hands alone, exhibit dramatic energy patterning, and seem as if they are shaped by the fluid action of water. Pacific Seawall’s substantial vertical profile extends the metallurgical lexicon for what is possible for the art of lost wax bronze. M.L. Snowden invented the working protocols and specific foundry wax that makes the casting of Pacific Seawall possible.

From important roots in the Paris studios of Rodin and Antonin Mercié, Snowden brings to Pacific Seawall the glowing luminous platinum Fournier Patina and the touch of the historic Rodin tools that were used to shape the dynamic, immortal planes of the sculpture.

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