Terre Rybovich Home Artwork Shows About Blog Contact


These large drawings each began with me charcoaling the entire surface and then lying down on it. The idea came to me years ago when I was delirious with the flu. “Drawing backwards” is how it initially presented itself. In other words, removing charcoal to create an image instead of adding charcoal to a white sheet of paper.

Because I was focused on figurative work, the body seemed like the most promising means for removing charcoal. And it was. The imprints were subtle but they were also powerful, even edifying.

One unexpected outcome of this technique is how my mind reacted (and still reacts) when confronted with creative input that it did not generate. Every new drawing requires a period of slow absorption, or acquiescence, before the mind can yield to the body’s input. Yet then the imprint guides the process of completing the drawing.

Ultimately, the result of the body calling the shots at the drawing board is that I create artwork that my mind could not have imagined. It means I work in perpetual wonder.

My education is in politics and economics. My first career was in social justice activism and grant-making. The activist experience forged an enduring commitment to this world. It also instilled a courageous drive that I now channel into art-making. I am happiest when I venture beyond what is known to me.

Other artists have imprinted their art with their bodies since the earliest cave paintings. What captivates us, I believe, is the unadulterated impact of this most literal means of making the immaterial material—which is the essence of art.

I am a daughter of Tommie Rybovich, the noted boat designer and builder. I proudly claim an inheritance of self-guided vision and ambition for the work.

It has been gratifying to have my work in the Drawing Center's slide registry in New York since 2004.

© 2018 Terre Rybovich - All Rights Reserved