Corda Eby was born in South Dakota on September 19, 1934 and moved to California as a small child. She graduated from Scripps College in 1956. Under the direction and encouragement of Millard Sheets, Phil Dike and Albert Stewart, she worked on painting and sculpture throughout the four years and won the College’s sculpture prize in her junior year. Since then she has lived and worked much of the time in Italy.
Her love of Italian painting and her long sojourn in the Mediterranean world, as well as an alertness to the possibility of luring magic from the most commonplace of things, are reflected in her work. Fragments of Duccio and Simone Martini share a place with an ancient egg once held by an Etruscan sarcophagus figure seen in the cool frescoed tombs of Tarquinia. They appear again in one of her paintings poised on a floating glacial cube. The heliodon, which is a farmer’s instrument used for charting the sun’s path on his land, is placed in juxtaposition with a child’s marbles. They become planets in a celestial space. The images, the heliodon, the lily, something of the Madonna, the hard cut shadow’s edge and other signs, some of darkness—these are evidence of an extraordinary spiritual sensibility, yielding to visual phenomenon with vivid freshness and originality.
The images she has claimed from the masterworks reside among the artifacts of her most private experiences. They are measured with care, painted in lean clarity and offered with a trust that only the most honest among us can afford.