Cynthia Eardley's figurative sculptures have been shown in solo and group exhibitions in
galleries and museums nationwide, including the Monique Knowlton Gallery, Museum of
South Texas, Huntsville Museum, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and most recently,
Sideshow, Ceres, and Rhonda Schaller galleries (New York).
Her work has been discussed in numerous publications, including The New York Times,
Sculpture, The Village Voice, The Nation, Sculpture Review, and ARTnews magazine,
where her figurative sculpture was featured in "The New Realism."
Former co-founder and co-director of the architecture/public arts group SITE, Inc, her trompe-l'oeil design for Best Products in Richmond, Va., was the first in a series by SITE that was reviewed and exhibited worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art (NYC). A 2005 monograph (SITE: Identity in Density, Images Publishing, Melbourne) features several examples of her early architectural work. Recently, her models and drawings for glass bridges, between mountains as well as subterranean, were discussed in Figure del Ponte: Simbolo e Architettura (Alberto Giorgio Cassani, Edizioni Pendragon, 2014, pp 165, 282).
She teaches sculpture, anatomy, and art history at the New York Academy of Art
Graduate School of Figurative Art. She has also taught at Pratt Institute, the University of
the Arts, and the Newark Museum School and participated in numerous lectures and arts
conferences nationwide. Her writings on art have been published in Bomb magazine, the Women's Caucus on Art National Update, and The Brooklyn Rail, where she was a con-
From articles and reviews
"Living and working near Ground Zero, like many artists, Eardley was profoundly affected
by 9/11. One of her especially vivid busts, Witness I, is a depiction of a young woman who
might have worked at the World Trade Center, whose face registers shock and horror.
She is painted blue, white, and yellow, the colors of the sky on the morning of 9/11. The
sculpture takes the commonplace into another dimension."
Cynthia Nadelman, ARTnews
"(Her) sculptures ...depict young women at a very intimate scale. Her naturalism captures
not only the external appearance of the subjects but, through her attention to minute
gestures and expressions, the conflicting and complex emotional states experienced by
James Kalm, catalog essay, "Little Women"
"takes sculpture...into a psychological terrain that the medium often ignores."
"probe(s) the ins and outs of companionship in subtle and illuminating ways."
Roberta Smith, The New York Times
"Her work favors naturalistic, sweeping gestures that express narrative succinctly and
suggest dreams and deep emotion."
"Melodrama and sensitivity are rarely so successfully blended in a single oeuvre."
Gerrit Henry, ARTnews
"a feeling for body language that we experience more often on a stage than in an art
John Russell, The New York Times
"Eardley's interest in portraying real life without irony is almost shattering in its
straightforwardness and in its flouting of current conventions."
"(Her) small figurative bronzes...are audacious statements--perhaps more precisely
gestures--that fly in the face of recent sculptural history."
Cynthia Nadelman, ARTnews
"These impressive works have an authoritative air."
Victoria Donahue, The New York Times
Cynthia Eardley's earthenware sculptures hug the broad white wall of the gallery forming
pockets of emotions. They are minimal stage sets...(her) forms milk the last drop of
emotion from each gesture."
Carla Sanders, Womanart
Cynthia Eardley's..fired clay sculptures are different. They emphasize craft...and they
convey human-scaled, almost readable human drama."
Peter Frank, ARTnews
"(Her) small ghostly white tableaux make us feel the essential kinship between humans
Charlotte Striefer Rubinstein and Olivia Georgia, In Three Dimensions: Women Sculptors of
the 90s, catalog essay
"Eardley's sculpture conveys a striking psychological presence."
Catalog essay, "The Power of Scale," Museum of South Texas
The Brooklyn Rail Essays
Gordon Matta-Clark by Cynthia Eardley
Zaha Hadid by Cynthia Eardley
Santiago Calatrava by Cynthia Eardley
SITE Brochure, 1969-70
"a magnificent example of what public sculpture can be"
"SITE...proposed a number of ideas for improving the Best Products complex, and Sydney Lewis selected the Peeling Wall idea by Cynthia Eardley, which was subsequently carried out."
Crosby, Theo: How to Play the Environment Game. London, Penguin Books, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1973, p 229
"Creatively, the five artists--Dana Draper, Marc Mannheimer, Cynthia Eardley, Nancy Goldring, and Wines--work separately, taking into account what the buiilding does, the weather, light, peak point of use and why it is different from other buildings."
"Of all the commissioned projects the Best Products 'peel'--which has the brick facade seemingly peeling from the foundation--will be the first completed design...'What I like most about it is the element of surprise,' said creator Eardley.
Butler, Susan L: "Art Circles," Houston Chronicle, June 1, 1972, p 18
"The Best Products Company is the nation's largest catalog-showroom merchandiser, with 74 showrooms in 10 states. Beginning in 1972, the company began to build a series of innovative designs by the SITE architectural group, retaining the basic 'brick box' prototype but manipulating facades so as to create what Mr. Drexler calls 'a sort of built commentary that starts with the original standard design and, by implication, takes on commercial building, the consumer society, the uses of ambiguity, and the relation of architecture to art."
Press release (no. 77): "Designs for Best Products," curated by Arthur Drexler (Director, Department of Architecture and Design), The Museum of Modern Art, NYC, Dec 13, 1979 - Feb 10, 1980
"SITE's numerous projects for Best Products were certainly the most important intellectual statements in architecture in the latter half of the 20th Century"
Horsley, Carter B, review of LeBlanc, Sydney: The Architecture Traveler, A Guide to 250 Key 20th Century American Buildings, W.W. Norton & Co, 2000
Peeling Project, Best Products, Richmond, Va, 1973
Floating Roof, Best Products, Richmond, Va, 1970
(First accepted proposal, over-budget)
"SITE, a group of five artists, has plans for a second roof for Best Products Co in Richmond, Va."
"Creatively, all the artists work separately, although each project begins with a general discussion stage....Then the artists become separate 'think tanks,' pooling their ideas later. Usually five different concepts evolve for each project....'We let the patron decide what direction he wants us to go,' says Mr. Wines."
"What can be done with a dull, rectangular, two-story building surrounded by a parking lot?"
"I want to hide it," laughed Miss Goldring....she placed colored panels about as wide as a car in front of the building and parking lot. Thus the building cannot be seen by approaching motorists....On the other hand, Mr. Wines....wants to put a stainless steel rim around the front of the building so cars will reflect off it."
"Miss Eardley wanted to change the building completely by adding another roof, ala Magritte. It would look like it floats, because it would be separated from the regular roof...."
Butler, Susan: "Art World: Canvassing the Country for Visual Pollutants," The Patriot Ledger, Dec 31, 1970, p 16
Bloom, Janet, Architectural Record, February 1972, p 101: