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 Gordon E. Snidow  (1936 - )

About: Gordon E. Snidow


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Lived/Active: New Mexico/Missouri      Known for: photoreal cowboy genre-figure painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Raised by strong women, he is one of the more recognized painters from the Southwest, devoting himself primarily to cowboy and female figure painting. He did numerous realistic gouache paintings of contemporary cowboys that reflect his understanding of the men, horses, and landscape of the Southwest. His favorite model, Carol, for his figure work was used in his American Woman series, about uncompromising, fiery spirited, yet feminine western women.

Born in Paris, Missouri, his early inspiration came from summers on his grandparents' Missouri ranch and a trip to the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.

He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in search of galleries to market his subject matter and took an illustration job at Sandia Laboratories to support his family. In 1969, he became one of the founders and organizers of the Cowboy Artists of America, which he then served as president. When he retired in 1997 to become a CAA Emeritus member, he was its top medal winner with twenty-seven gold and silver awards, three of them for best of show.

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Gordon Snidow has been known as the foremost chronicler of the contemporary cowboy for more than 40 years. He is a leader in the development of the American Western Art movement, and is one of America’s outstanding fine artists.“The west, like all places, is a continuum of space and time; it is alive and vibrant in today’s guise – and as Snidow paints it – as it was when George Catlin, Charles M. Russell, Frederic Remington, and their successors through the years painted it.

Snidow is a historian who records his time in pictures, rather than words, and as Russell and other in-their time “contemporary” chroniclers of the West are seen today as painters of the “Historic West”, so Snidow will be seen in the future. There are no guarantees for the future of the cowboy in the late 20th century, and his western world is for his past.

Snidow is also recording other aspects of his time. Those include his American woman series, the homeless, wildlife, and one specific work recognizable anywhere in the country today – an adobe wall covered with graffiti. All parts of his view of the “whole fabric” of the modern West. He paints it not as he would like it to be, but the way it is - warts and all.

Snidow graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 1959 from the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. He is a charter member of the Cowboy Artists of America. When he retired after 25 years to become an emeritus member, he had won 27 Gold and Silver Medals, including three for Best of Show.

His work can be seen in the permanent collections of the Gilcrease Museum, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Phoenix Art Museum, and the Cowboy Artists of America Museum.

In 1998, he created the cover for recording star Michael Martin Murphey’s CD release, Cowboy Songs IV. In September 1998, he was awarded the New Mexico Governor’s Award for Excellence In The Arts. In December 1999, he was among 12 artists chosen by Art of the West for “Compelling work that will be remembered 100 years from now.”

Snidow is the creator of the famous “Coors Cowboy Collector Series.” His work has received international critical acclaim with shows in France, China, Taiwan, Russia, England, Germany, and Canada. He also has been the subject of two books and a British documentary film.

Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI:
Gordon Snidow

Realist painter of the contemporary cowboy in opaque watercolor, born in Paris, Missouri in 1936 and living in Ruidoso, New Mexico. “I like to think I had something to do with the popularity of Western art,” Snidow says. “Hell, I was doing it when it wasn’t paying anything. Now it’s doing well and I wouldn’t leave it for the world. I feel very fortunate, and my life couldn’t be better.

“I remember my first art show in the second grade in Tulsa. I also had instruction in junior high in Sherman, Texas. Dad found a teacher to give me private lessons in Enid, Oklahoma, and enrolled me in the Famous Artists School. Then I discovered the Gilcrease Museum when I was twelve and I decided I wanted to be a cowboy artist.” After high school, he went to the Art Center School in Los Angeles, graduating in 1959 and selling his first Western painting for $125 in Tulsa. He sold two more Western paintings in Taos, New Mexico but to support his family became a commercial artist in Albuquerque. In 1965, he joined the new Cowboy Artists of America who banded together for art shows, and in 1971 he became a full-time painter.

“Rembrandt has a place in my life,” he adds, “not because I paint like he did, but because he has influenced me philosophically. He painted the people of his time. My approach to the cowboy is a Rembrandt approach, because I am painting the people of our time.” Snidow has won seven gold and seven silver medals at the CAA shows, plus the Popular Choice Award twice and the Best of Show twice.

Resource: Contemporary Western Artists, by Peggy and Harold Samuels 1982, Judd’s Inc., Washington, D.C

Biography from Claggett/Rey Gallery:
Gordon Snidow was born in Paris, Mo. in 1936. He grew up there, in Oklahoma, and Texas. He earned a BFA from the Art Center College of Design in LosAngeles, CA. He is a charter member of the Cowboy Artists of America. When he retired after 25 years to become a member emeritus, he was the CowboyArtists Of America top medal winner. Snidow had won 27 Gold and Silver Medals, including three for Best of Show.

His work can be found in the permanent collection of the leading Western Art Museums. Some of these are Thomas Gilcrease Museum, The National Cowboy Hall of Fame, The CowboyArtists of America Museum, The Cody Museum, and The Phoenix Art Museum. In 1998 he created the cover for recording star Michael Martin Murphy's newest CD release "Cowboy Songs IV". In September 1998, he was awarded the "New Mexico Governor's Award For Excellence In The Arts."

Annually he participates in several shows, including the Prix de West Show at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, and The Cowboy Artists Of America Show at the Phoenix Art Museum.

Snidow is the creator of the famous "COORS COWBOY COLLECTORS SERIES." His work has received international critical acclaim with shows in France,China, Taiwan, Russia, England, Germany and Canada. He has been the subject of two books and a British documentary film. -

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Gordon Snidow is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
Western Painters

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