Parting Shot: Cynthia Harris-Pagano | Visual Art | Hudson Valley | Hudson Valley; Chronogram
Pin It

Parting Shot: Cynthia Harris-Pagano 

click to enlarge “...Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” (The Breaking of the Waters). Cynthia Harris-Pagano, oil painting, 50” X 52”, 1971.
  • “...Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” (The Breaking of the Waters). Cynthia Harris-Pagano, oil painting, 50” X 52”, 1971.

The Book of Genesis famously repeats the creation story. The first account is stark and mechanically causal—"And God said, Let there be light: and there was light." The second account is fueled by a more human narrative; Adam is made of the "dust of the ground," complete with flesh and language.

Cynthia Harris-Pagano's series of oil paintings inspired by the biblical creation story, completed in 1971, yokes together elements of each version—the abstract, minimalist forms are given life through vibrant blues and orange. In the sixth painting of the series, the featured depiction of Genesis 1:6, the orange form (which repeats and grows increasingly complex through the series) looks like a swollen bubble about to drop from the top of the frame. The pregnant image is no coincidence. "It came to me that it was a birth image," says Harris-Pagano, who nicknamed the piece The Breaking of the Waters.

"I've always admired the Sistine Chapel," says Harris-Pagano. "But at the same time it annoyed me—a creation story of God with a white beard." She notes the direct influence of the different creation accounts on her abstract approach. "One says male and female—he created them in his image. There was an equality there." According to Harris-Pagano, the containing form in the series is a symbol of femininity. "It's my answer to Michelangelo's creation," she says.

Cynthia Harris-Pagano lives and paints in the Orange County hamlet of Otisville. Her creation series is displayed alongside her more recent flood series in the exhibit "Genesis: Creation and Flood" at Vassar's Palmer Gallery through March 12.;

Speaking of...

  • The Veteran Arts Showcase
  • The Veteran Arts Showcase

    An event from November 18th to 20th at the FDR Presidential Library, exploring how trauma and healing for veterans come through artistic expression.
    • Nov 16, 2016
  • Boomboxes Are Booming
  • Boomboxes Are Booming

    "The Boombox Project" will remain at the Hudson Opera House from November 19 through December 23.
    • Nov 1, 2016
  • Parting Shot: Michael Crawford
  • Parting Shot: Michael Crawford

    The painter and cartoonist who was a longtime contributor to The New Yorker passed away on July 12 at his home in Kingston.
    • Sep 1, 2016
  • More »
Pin It


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Andrew Lyght Retrospective at the Dorsky

    The Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz mounts the first retrospective of multimedia artist Andrew Lyght.
    • Jan 1, 2016
  • RUPCO's Lace Mill: Collaborative Catalyst

    A positive effect on the community can come from artists having a space with the opportunity to inspire and collaborate with one another; Rupco's Lace Mill is one of those spaces.
    • Feb 1, 2017

Hudson Valley Events

submit event
Aynsley Vandenbroucke: And @ Mount Tremper Arts

Aynsley Vandenbroucke: And

Sat., July 22, 8 p.m. and Sun., July 23, 3 p.m. — In And, Aynsley Vandenbroucke uses experimental literary devices to create a series...

Bluegrass Brunch: Bob Stump Band

Sun., July 23, 12 p.m.

View all of today's events

Latest in Visual Art

Related to Visual Art

More by Jennifer Gutman

Hudson Valley Tweets