SIMPL-MAG: An Interview with Peggy Cyphers
May 26, 2019
Peggy Cyphers (b.1954) is a painter, who focused on the series called Modern Fossils that attempts to explore the consciousness, geological time and the Anthropocene that fossilize the moment and appropriate the images from nature and cultural history. Now, with her own development of her artistic career, she taught fine arts field as an Adjunct Professor at Pratt Institute since 1989. For today’s editorial interview, we will discuss her works and her opinion toward contemporary art.
Peggy Cyphers responds to the multi-dimensional experience of Being through painterly gesture and luminous layers of pigments. Cyphers creates the sensation of gazing upwards through indeterminate, glowing layers defying both perspective and gravity. In this latest body of work, Peggy Cyphers’ gestural brushwork is evident not only on canvas but watercolor and monotypes on paper reflecting her overarching aesthetic concern of the interconnectedness of all beings to the earth and to each other.
Posed halfway between abstract patterning and geological reference, “Silver Spirit” reminds us that painting is still capable of capturing our interest, despite the funerary orations that the medium is dead. Cyphers makes it clear that she has opted for a double awareness, in which non-objective insight vies with close scrutiny of the natural world.
Peggy Cyphers has a persistent vision of nature that she translates into richly colored and textured quasi-abstract paintings. She pours and lightly brushes countless layers of paint and sand onto the canvas until she achieves luminous and sumptuous surface. Approaching each canvas as a kind of garden where organic and geometric elements intermingle with intense light, she nurtures elaborate hybrid forms. David Ebony
These airy abstractions, most in a quatrefoil format with textural flourishes of sand and gold leaf, seem inspired in equal measure by natural phenomena and ancient Chinese painting.
Her paintings are made by constantly turning the canvas, giving the work a strange vertiginous effect of not being exactly sure where we are: are we catching a woodpecker’s feather out of the corner of our human eye, or are we a mite deep inside the bird’s plumage peering out?