Cindy Neuschwander

Artist Cindy Neuschwander, who died in 2012, is known especially for her sensuous abstract encaustic paintings, but her artistic journey was diverse and varied. Early in her career, she focused on straight photography, using a large format box camera to produce modern images that explored issues of identity, vulnerability, relationship and isolation, among other things. Later, Neuschwander experimented with where photography could take her in her exploration of these ideas. She painted and collaged over the images, marking and scratching the surface and sometimes even the negatives. The result was a body of work, made in the late 1980s, that draws the viewer in with color and directness while also keeping one out by obscuring and disguising the figures in the images beneath. This work is a wonderfully engaging moment of connection with Cindy as an emerging artist. Curators Jay Barrows, Emily Smith, and Park Myers, along with Angeline Robertson, drew on this extensive body of work to create an engaging exhibition that offers a glimpse into her early development as an artist.

(Cindy) did refer to her studio as a cathedral, and, while it is a beautiful sentiment, and being able to actually hear her say that (is wonderful), I also wanted to stretch the metaphor of what a cathedral really means, in the sense that it is a place where you go to search and to find. . . . It’s both meditative and very lively. . . . (W)hen you take the sgraffito and the mark making and think about a place where you go to find some answers that aren’t immediately available to you, this was a moment to look at this body of work as a cathedral.
— Park Myers on Cindy Neuschwander

Paige hosts the LookSEE podcast and is a freelance audio producer, an art lover, and a lifelong Richmonder. Her favorite place to be is in a museum. A close second is a bookstore.