Cadence Giersbach in her DUMBO, Brooklyn studio, 2022

statement on recent work

I make paintings, ceramics, and papier mâché sculptures inspired by rocks, earth, and the tangled growth of vegetation. As I tend to my backyard meadow, I gather sensations to channel into the work, which describes a verdant terrain of potent organic matter. My interest is in the materiality of the landscape, its texture, weight, pattern, and gesture, and the associations these evoke. For me, the garden is a metaphor for life’s intensity, beauty, and precariousness. 

I paint abstract images of fields, stones, rivers, plants, and earth on unprimed, unstretched muslin that undulates like a landscape, the surface of the water, or a leaf. Sometimes, I fold the paint-soaked fabric to self-print an area, add loose gestural brushstrokes, or draw dashes and lines. Then, I often sew on elements like piping, straps, and fabric shapes to expand the work’s physical presence and give it dimensionality. These paintings, which describe personal experiences, evoke visceral, sensory memories of nature. 

Papier mâché and clay, like mud, are viscous and then harden into stone. I work like a gardener with these materials, pushing and pulling them into animate form. Working improvisationally, I combine pinched, coiled, and slabbed forms to create porcelain and stoneware vases that resemble stacked pods or stones glazed with star maps, water currents, and topography. I combine cups, arms, and mirrors with orbs and tubes to build papier mâché pieces that I paint with images from the natural world. A pod or a stone is a motionless orb with invisible potency, while a snake is a line or gesture with implied movement that connects parts and energizes the whole. I intensify the work’s emotional tenor by exaggerating shapes and colors. My intention is always to animate an object, to coax it into expressing the abstract story it contains.


Cadence Giersbach lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Sullivan County, NY. She received an MFA from Rutgers University and a BA from Vassar College and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Giersbach received a Pollock Krasner Foundation Award and a New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Award. She has exhibited at Roebling Hall (Brooklyn, NY), Sandroni Rey (Venice, CA), Venetia Kapernekas (New York, NY), Deitch Projects (New York, NY), White Columns (New York, NY), Wave Hill (Bronx, NY), Brooklyn Museum of Art (Brooklyn, NY), Museo Rufino Tamayo (Mexico City, MX), Galerie Asbæk (Copenhagen, DK), Galerie Faurschou (Copenhagen, DK), and the Kunsthalle Nürnberg (Nürnberg, DE). Her work has been commissioned by Arts for Transit, MTA (Brooklyn, NY), the Town of Montclair (Montclair, NJ), Percent for Art, (Queens, NY), the Palladium Co., (West Palm Beach, FL) Public Collections include the Albright-Knox, Buffalo, NY, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, and the RISD Museum, Providence, RI. Her work has been reviewed in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and Artforum Online.