November 2, 1926 - March 31, 2016
Cyrus was a natural born artist, full of knowledge, wit and love. He had the joy of spending the last 23 years of his life in New York City, painting full-time while enjoying his family and indulging in his passions such as reading, research, democratic politics and of course, the New York Yankees.
Although a large amount of his work was done in those 23 years after retiring from Architecture, he was an active painter well before moving to NYC. In a short 1995 essay discussing his ideation and process with some of his collections of work, Cy explains his identity as an Artist through his experience as an Architect-
“...most of my professional life was spent in the practice of urban design, architecture and in teaching urban design, architecture and basic design. During the seven years I spent in Washington, DC I was able to work on my painting two or three days each week.” He goes on to say that much of the work he is writing about was done during those days in DC and that since mid- 1993 he had begun painting full-time. “ I got into architecture in the first place because I liked to draw, to draw free-hand and to draw mechanically. When they are not drawing with computers, architects generally communicate visually by drawing with pencil, pen, colored pencils and felt-tip markers on tracing paper. Sometimes this work is done free-hand and sometimes mechanically, but many times it is done by using a combination of both.” He went on to explain that the work he is writing about was formed using his architectural drawing methods but the mediums of drawing had expanded to acrylic paints and oil sticks on various types of drawing paper.
“I develop the work from a small sketch done with pen and felt-tip markers, roughly to scale. From this sketch the larger paper studies are made by proportionally enlarging the original sketch, mechanically drawing it on the paper, taping the lines, painting between the lines with acrylic paint and then removing the tape. The paper used is a drawing/print making paper with a surface that will not tear when the tape is removed. (There are not many of those papers around, I have found two to date). From these paper studies many have been enlarged to acrylic paintings on canvas.”
“All of my work develops into some sort of thematic series of drawings and painting. There are too many to list all of them here but in progress are two that I shall mention” One is the “Midtown Series”; ...The other series in progress is called “ Broadway Blocks and Balls”.” Pieces from the two series mentioned above are showcased on the gallery pages with Cy’s personal descriptions.
It is hard to express the breadth of Cy’s art without visual accompaniment. The pieces shown on the gallery pages are a small percentage of the amount and variety of his work. His family relishes in the company of his art throughout their homes, with most of his collection in the possession of his wife Barbara. This website is the first step in curating his collections to showcase hundreds of his pieces with future potential for purchasing.