Natural Abstraction - his true voice
Many of Snee's pictures are recognisable as abstract landscapes, with trees, fields and hedgerows; many more as head and shoulders portraits.
There are recurring motifs: columns that often morph into human figures, 'shell and skull' double-head portraits, homages to Picasso, portraits of Wyndham Lewis, railway pictures. Once he had found his true voice, Snee enjoyed a long high summer of creativity: twenty years of pictures that positively radiate joy and vibrancy, and bear witness to an artist relishing his engagement with seeing. Reporting his experience of seeing: this was Gordon Snee's obsession. Although his work is mostly abstract and non-figurative, Snee is a plain speaker, whose paintings are pitched at 'the ordinary viewer'. They are not offered as puzzles that can only be appreciated by those 'in the know' about art. His work is open, accessible. Snee stayed absolutely loyal to what he saw, undistracted by his subject's meaning, its political context, or the thousand other undermining ironies and post-modern distractions of the late twentieth century. Gordon Snee withdrew from the professional art world, but he never withdrew from art. His self-imposed exile gave him peace and clarity to make his work. We believe that Gordon Snee is a leading representative of a lost generation of British abstract painters.