Cynthia Hibbard through November 30, 2019

Peggy Murphy

Beset by injury and surgery, Cynthia Hibbard was faced with rethinking her way of mounting an exhibition. Making art isn’t always a matter of flash and frenzy. Sometimes it’s just revising and seeing new possibilities in older work. Hibbard realized she had a surplus of source material ready for rehabilitation and in her new show Remainders, she mends sidelined pieces and fragmented parts into the new and whole.

Cannibalizing the old to start something new is a time-honored creative shortcut. Here Hibbard offers no apologies and turns this shortcut process into the concept of her exhibition. In a refreshing display of candor, she enlightens her viewers with wall labels detailing this renewal process as well as showing us enough of the old to understand her process in finding the new.

Here the evidence of past work sits comfortably within their new transformations. A series of older acrylic paintings become the background for a swirl of newly collaged and sanded lines. Other refurbished paintings capture organic shapes floating in a newly painted sea of primary color. In a charming and ironic reincarnation, the spontaneity of plein air sketches become painstaking needlepoints while wooden blocks do a fine job illustrating her crafted editing. The wall label for the blocks reads within every imperfect painting, at least one1x1 inch better painting can be found. Here Hibbard uses a transparent white over previous watercolor designs to precisely show us her chosen I inch. Within all these pieces, composition is deeply considered. Bold masses connect small vagueness is solidly rectified.

Hibbard’s collection of rebooted remainders is a clever look at how this artist works. She shapes her collection with aesthetics in mind and with a light, humorous touch reminds us that making art is not always a mysterious and sanctified process.