About this item
Sybil Gibson, "Untitled (Fragility Blossom Pink Pot)," 1977, Tempera on brown paper bag
20.5 x 17 in. Unframed.
Despite having no formal art education, Sybil Gibson (1908–1995) was decisively an artist. She wrote and spoke extensively about her practice and was always guided by her intuition– “When I paint I do not see anything except that which is coming into being under my brush. I am creating. I am molding. I am shaping. I am growing… I am allowing the unknown to focus right there under my brush.” This process is self-evident in her paintings, which were forcefully executed yet remain delicate and almost ghostly in appearance.
Sybil Gibson’s early years were comfortable, both physically and financially, as she was born into an affluent family in Dora, Alabama. While in college, where she studied biology and education, she married Hugh Gibson. The couple eventually had a daughter; however, soon after the birth, and in connection with a fraught relationship with her husband, Gibson suffered an emotional breakdown and unexpectedly fled Alabama – and her family to relocate to Florida. It was here that Sybil Gibson began painting on soaked and flattened brown paper bags around 1963. Her ethereal style and unique process attracted attention almost immediately, garnering her a solo exhibition at the Miami Museum of Modern Art in 1965. Gibson was scheduled to have a second solo exhibition at the same museum in 1971, yet she once again vanished right before the opening leaving her artwork strewn about her yard. Eventually, with the help of a private investigator, Sybil Gibson’s daughter was able to locate and reconnect with her mother before Gibson’s passing in 1995.
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