“In 1979 when I moved to SoHo, the area was still industrial. Kovacs Lights was across the street, and I could watch the piece workers while they assembled the lamps. To try to experience the monotony of their jobs, I began to repetitiously dot all the furniture in my loft with paint. Day in and day out I dotted. Running out of furniture, I made dot paintings.”
Marcia Gygli King
Cantilever by Marcia Gygli King belongs to the San Antonio Museum of Art’s permanent collection. The piece was made in 1980 by Gygli King, who was originally from Ohio but had strong roots in San Antonio after graduating with an MFA from the University of Texas in San Antonio. The artist lived in New York for a long period of time but returned to her loved San Antonio where she lived until her unfortunate death in 2011. The artist was one of San Antonio’s most accomplished artists and a talented renowned figure across the country. Marcia Gygli King’s work is part of recognized collections such as the Gugghenheim Museum in New York, the Brooklyn Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, the Robert College in Turkey, the McNay Museum of Art, and the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Cantilever is an example of King’s interest in the new Feminist aesthetic of the time and the Pattern and Decoration movement. In this movement, which originated in New York in the mid-1970s, painters and other artists produced works that consist essentially of complex and generally brightly colored patterns. The movement was a reaction against the stark impersonality of Minimalism and explored the idea that decorative art is a humanizing influence that should not be regarded as inferior to ‘fine’ art. King’s sculptural painting was created during that period when artists were investigating with the boundaries and conventions of painting and sculpture. Made of paper disks, bark, and modeling paste, Cantilever poses a decorative texture but maintains the flatness and architectural forms often seen in minimalist paintings offering elements from sculpture and painting and commenting on the obsessive and monotonous activities of industrial laborers.
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