Bruce Silverstein / 20 is pleased to announce New Vision, the gallery’s third solo show by the artist Larry Silver. This exhibition, curated by noted photography scholar and collector Gary Sokol, is comprised of twenty unique photographic panels, and reveals a bold new direction for the artist who began photographing the streets and subways of New York City in 1949 at the age of 15.
Beginning by projecting an image onto photographic paper, Silver then moves 360 degrees around the photographic canvas using penlights and flashlights to expose the paper at different stages of the printing process, while additionally applying photographic chemicals to the surface with tools such as brushes, saltshakers, and hoses. As a result, Silver creates an explosive new work, freeing himself from the traditional expectations for a medium historically fixated on capturing the "decisive moment" and producing the perfect print—a markedly contemporary approach to image creation. Through their gestural lines and distinctive coloration, these one-of-a-kind compositions relate most readily to Abstract Expressionist works and experimental imagery from the Bauhaus School.
While a high school student in New York, Larry Silver (b.1934) was greatly influenced by the Photo League, having been mentored by the self-taught artist Lou Bernstein. After studying photography at the High School of Industrial Art (1949-53), Silver was granted a full scholarship to the Art Center School in Los Angeles (1954-56) where he would produce the celebrated series, Muscle Beach (1954), the subject of a solo exhibition at the International Center of Photography in 1985, and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1999. In 1973, after moving to Fairfield County Connecticut, Silver began a thirty-year document of the region that would become Suburban Vision. In 2003, after more than fifty years of photographing, Larry Silver broke away from documentary work, and began to create altered landscape images through experimental dark room techniques and paper manipulation. This shift precipitated the New Vision series. A group of these early works will be on view during the exhibition.
Larry Silver’s work is included in over 25 museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University Art Gallery and the George Eastman House. His work is included in numerous publications including Made in California, (LACMA, 2000); New York, Portrait of a City, (Taschen, 2010); This Was the Photo League (Daiter Gallery, 2001) and will be featured in the upcoming exhibition The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951 at the Jewish Museum, New York.