Schema Projects

Brian Cypher: Survey, works on paper

Friday, April 5 – Sunday April 28  
reception Friday, April 5  6-9pm

Bryan Cypher - Untitled (black paper 7), 2012
acrylic, ink and graphite, 9 x 12 inches


Schema Projects presents the first survey of works on Schema Projects presents the first survey of works on paper by Brian Cypher. Cypher lives and works in Washington state. He first came on scene in New York in a show entitled “All Together Now” curated by Julie Torres during Bushwick Open Studios 2012. Since that time, Cypher’s reputation has quickly grown. Using paper as his primary medium, Cypher constructs a world of mental musings that result in slow thoughtful works. Out of ink, graphite, thin washes and collage he has constructed a fresh abstract language. Elements of repetitive marking and organic and geometric abstraction, come together in these quiet and contemplative works, that owe a depth to biomorphism and naïve art.

As an artist, Cypher is self taught. In high school, he first experimented with abstraction, working on the backside of pieces of mat board. He chose paper because it was an abundant and inexpensive resource. It was a logical transition from these first drawings on paper, to choosing drawing as an end in itself.

The show here brings together works completed over the past 15 years.

For more information please contact: Catalogue and Essay by Schema Projects director Mary Judge available.


Schema Back Space:

Shri Nathji Devotional Paintings: a selection

Shri Nathji - Untitled W, 2013
tempera on paper, 5 x 3 inches

In these devotional paintings, the Hindu god Krishna is depicted and worshiped as Shri Nathji. Colonel Tod, in his Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan tells us that the great Vaishnavite saint, Vallabhacharya (ca. 1500 A.D.) was visited by Krishna in a dream. Krishna himself asked the sage to look for him on Mount Govardhana. As a result of his search, a stone image was found. Recognized as having great power, the statue was installed in the mountain temple. Nearly 200 years later, the ruler of Udaipur, in an effort to preserve it from Aurangzeb’s desecrations, had the stone image moved to his capital in Rajastan. On route, the chariot collapsed. Interpreted as the pleasure of the God to remain there, Nathji was removed from his cart and a temple was erected in this village called Siarh, now called Nathdwara.

These paintings have been made for centuries by a small group of artists working around the precincts of Nathji temple. These artists developed a thriving industry making small paintings and picchawais a large painted cloth that hangs behind the icon, as souvenirs for pilgrims. Featured at the center of these images is Shri Nathaji, a distinctive black stone figure with bright white painted eyes, usually dressed in seasonal clothing. This enigmatic black-faced figure of Krishna is worshiped to this day, in his mountain-lifting posture, a gesture of bringing the world into bloom, often signified pictorially by a blossoming tree.

Created according to a strict set of precepts, these paintings reveal how the act of devotion can imbue a formulaic image with infinite variety and inspirational purpose. A group of these paintings where featured recently in an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum entitled: “ Vishnu: Hinduism's Blue-Skinned Savior”. These works were selected from a private collection developed over a 30 year period.

Selections from the Flatfiles

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