ARTWORK

Huck Snyder, Civilian Warfare
Invitation to solo show

c. 1980s

Signed and inscribed by Dean Savard to Richard Merkin (an aesthete and avid collector of vintage pornography)

17 x 11 inches

Contact gallery for price.

“Civilian Warfare promulgates the archetypal down-in-the-gutter-with-a-handful-of-glitter East Village aesthetic.”
David Rimanelli; Artforum, May 1981.

Huck Snyder was a visual artist and a designer of vivid stage settings for dancers and performance artists. He created sets and stage furniture that were surrealistic yet extremely simple and almost childlike at times. Imaginative and free in their execution and unmistakably his work, his sets often seemed inseparable from the vision of the performers with whom he worked. Huck had designed stage sets for the performance artist John Kelly beginning with sets for “Diary of a Somnambulist” in 1985. The multi-level, boxlike set he designed for Kelly’s 1991 work “Maybe It’s Cold Outside” was crammed with the colorful and mysterious artifacts of five people’s lives and was considered by some to be Mr. Snyder’s best work. Mr. Snyder also created sets for dances by Bill T. Jones and Bart Cook, and for theater pieces by Ishmael Houston-Jones. He conceived, directed, and designed his own work “Circus,” a performance-art piece presented in 1987 at La Mama E.T.C.

He died of AIDS in 1993. He was 39.

Dean Savard was co-director of Civilian Warfare Gallery, along with his partner Alan Barrows. Located in the gritty East Village and launched in 1982, Civilian Warfare became a focal point for some of the most aggressive installations, performances, and paintings being shown at the time. Savard had a brilliant eye for art of the period, exhibiting many of the most iconoclastic shows of the era, and launched the careers of Greer Lankton, David Wojnarowicz, Huck Snyder, Luis Fragella, Richard Hambleton, among others. Savard was a difficult figure due in large part to his heroin addiction, mismanaging the gallery funds, and eventually losing the artists under his umbrella as he was stealing money and cashing their checks.

Dean Savard died of AIDS on March 30, 1990, at the age of 31.

G.E.

Work by Huck Snyder