Cate McQuaid reviews Dean Snyder’s exhibition at Cade Tompkins Projects.
“Dean Snyder’s fever-dream sculptures at Cade Tompkins Projects in Providence, gaudy and glowing, squirm in great tendrils and knobs over and up from the floor. Nightmarish yet oddly like candy, they push you away even as they pull you in.
He makes them from layers of carbon fiber and epoxy, then paints them with sparkling auto enamel. “FinalFreeze” crawls over the floor in swells and dribbles of clover green, giving way to shimmering bronze and, depending on how the light hits it, purple. A treelike form rises from the central, heaving puddle, its tentacle-like roots seemingly suctioned to the surface, its branches severed and dripping like amputated limbs — only with mint green, not bloody red.
The works are pretty irresistible, sexy yet grotesque, and while that’s an eye-pleasing equation, it can be pat. But there’s more to Snyder’s art. He works intriguingly with the links and branches of networks. “MiddleWay,” a sculptural drawing of a spider’s web in stainless steel, spreads across a doorway. It links lyrically to “Pneuma,” a shiny, black meandering wall sculpture, upon which a wormy stenciled network loops and knots in buzzy fuchsia at the top, softer purple at the bottom.
The sculptures, with their tentacles and tendrils, feel like extensions of these flatter works: life, creeping, pushing, growing, always on the move.”