Silver Splendor: The Art of Anna Silver

Curated by Jo Lauria • Opening Reception: March 9, 2019 • Curator Talk at 7pm

Free admission March 9 after 5pm • On View: March 9 – August 25, 2019 • RSVP on Facebook

“Spontaneity doesn’t happen by accident.”

Lucinda Smith, author / writer

“[Silver] has found ways to use pottery as a format for exploring painting in the round without relying on conventional notions about how imagery is organized on a pot, or acknowledging the limitations of taste and style in contemporary ceramics.”

Adrian Saxe, Emeritus Professor / Ceramics / UCLA

“[Silver] applies her glazes with measured physicality, skillfully coaxing bold, gestural drawings to float against backdrops of luminous pigment.”

Jo Lauria, curator / writer / educatorSilver Splendor: The Art of Anna Silver examines over forty-five years of studio work and tracks the creative evolution of Silver from her origins to her current role as a beacon of painterly aesthetics in the field of modern and contemporary art. This exhibition will bring together over seventy works, including recent works in glass, and rarely seen monoprint drawings.

Celebrated for her vibrant and multi-layered abstract paintings on clay, Silver continues the Abstract Expressionist tradition of non-objective mark making, spontaneity, and emotive use of color. Silver’s process, however, is more intuition than improvisation. She applies her glazes with measured physicality, skillfully coaxing bold, gestural drawings to float against backdrops of luminous pigment.

Anna Silver pursued painting from an early age, studying with painting masters Fernand Léger, Herb Jepson, John Altoon, Joyce Treiman, and Martin Lubner. From these mentors, she learned the materiality of paint; compositional structure; the interplay of pattern, figuration, and abstraction; color associations; and confidence. In the beginning, Silver explored the use of a variety of materials and gravitated to painting on canvas and paper. By the mid-1960s, a ceramics class prompted her to leap into the dimensional space of clay sculpture – a space Silver has occupied for the last forty years, choosing the clay vessel as her primary vehicle of aesthetic expression. She felt then, as she does today, the pursuit of abstract painting on ceramic forms to be an “infinite adventure.”

Throughout her career, Silver has explored the relationship of surface painting through the traditional lexicon of functional forms. Cups, bowls, teapots, vessels, and oversized plates have been Silver’s objects of choice, and her output has been varied and prodigious. Recently Silver has added ceramic totem sculptures and glass platters to her vocabulary. As Garth Clark aptly stated: “Anna is pushing the form and painting as far as you can take it.”

Silver’s work is included in significant museum collections in the United States, Europe, and Asia, and she has been represented by the Garth Clark Gallery (LA, NYC, and Kansas City) and the Frank Lloyd Gallery (LA).

Image: Untitled Yellow Vase, glazed earthenware with luster, 23 h x 17.25 in.diameter, Collection of David Kalin.