Apoorva Tadepalli at Bookforum:
IN A TEACHING MANUAL she wrote in the 1980s, the artist Sybil Andrews stressed the importance of reaching into an image for its essence, stripping away whatever stagnated it. “Can you catch that? Can you get that sense of movement?” she would ask. The advice revealed a design philosophy that had defined her work for decades: her 1931 linocut In Full Cry shows a row of horses leaping over a hedge, their riders’ coattails soaring behind them. The lines themselves are Andrews’s subject, vigorous and unflinching. “I don’t draw the horse jumping,” she said. “I draw the jump.”
Jenny Uglow’s new biography, Sybil & Cyril: Cutting Through Time, is a portrait of Andrews and her partner, Cyril Power, and the art world of the interwar years that they were steeped in. Power, an architect by training, met Andrews, twenty-five years his junior, after being discharged at the end of the First World War. He was studying the historic buildings in Bury, England, and noticed her on the street, working on a drawing of a house.