Mixed media fine art - Cayce Zavaglia
Cayce Zavaglia, “Matt” (front view), 2018, hand embroidery: crewel wool on Belgian linen with acrylic 19 1/4 x 30 1/2 in. (framed)

Discover the mixed media fine art of Cayce Zavaglia, who skillfully uses thread to create realistic portraits that reflect her definition of “family.”

Through June 2, 2018
Lyons Wier Gallery, New York

From the gallery:

For the past 16 years, Cayce Zavaglia’s work has primarily focused on documenting the members of her immediate and extended family. “Southerly” marks a departure from this practice and focuses instead on the lifelong friendships that were formed when her parents immigrated to Australia in 1972.

Mixed media fine art - Cayce Zavaglia
“Matt” (back view)

In 2015, Zavaglia was the recipient of an artist fellowship with the Regional Arts Commission in St. Louis. This generous grant allowed her to return to Australia and photograph these childhood friends and their families. The resulting work touches on the universal immigrant experience of friends assuming the roles of absent family members. Portraying these individuals provided Cayce with an opportunity to reflect on the evolving definition of the word “family” and pay homage to her adopted country.

Mixed media fine art - Cayce Zavaglia
“Orlando” (front view), 2018, hand embroidery: crewel wool on Belgian linen with acrylic background, 23 3/4 x 20 3/4 in. / 24 3/4 x 21 3/4 in. (framed)
Mixed media fine art - Cayce Zavaglia
“Orlando” (back view)

Zavaglia has developed a technique that has been described as “modern pointillism,” which allows her to blend colors and establish tonalities that truly resemble the techniques used in classical oil painting. The direction in which the threads are sewn mimic the way brush marks are layered within a painting, which in turn gives the allusion of depth, volume, and form. Her stitching methodology borders on the obsessive. This system allows her to visually evoke painterly renditions of flesh, hair, and cloth. Each portrait is hand sewn in wool and continues her investigation into the notion of “embroidery as painting” and her ongoing interest in both hyper-realistic portraiture and process.

For more information: www.lyonswiergallery.com

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  1. She is certainly talented and unique! I would like to see this work in person, as I think it would probably elevate my curiosity and opinion as to its longevity in its possible place within art history. I think we are creatures of familiarity… which breeds approval… which isn’t necessarily a good trait. Often, the unaccustomed takes time to appreciate…


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