Sybil Gibson was born Sybil Aaron in Dora, Alabama. Although Gibson's father was a prosperous Alabama coal mine operator, she spent most of her life in poverty.
Shortly before the opening of her first art exhibition at the Miami Museum of Modern Art in May, 1971, Gibson disappeared, leaving drawings scattered about her yard.
Granger Carr, who befriended Gibson, aptly describes her: "At the age of 50 and with no previous training nor interest in art, Sybil Gibson was seized... suddenly and completely" by an urge to paint. At hand were sixteen grocery bags and powdered tempera with which he experimented. These materials remained her medium through 35 years of compulsive painting that obliterated her former life.
The simple subject matter of flora and fauna are submerged in mystery. Line gives way to light where lyrical hues bleed as in the dome of a rural Alabama sky. Yet form emerges shy of abstraction, retaining the familiarity of distant memory. Evasive flowers become something immediate and urgent. The spirit-like portraits which populate Gibson's work peer as if from behind a veil.
Critics of Gibson's work have compared it to that of Matisse, Auguste, Renoir, Milton Avery, and Odilon Redon...