A member of the Photo League, Larry Silver began his career by photographing the streets and subways of New York City, and has continued to capture the lifestyles and social landscapes that surround him for more than fifty years. From his images of local weightlifters, body builders, and acrobats populating the beaches of Santa Monica, to his documentation of the isolated relationship between the inhabitants and the physical landscape of the evolving metropolitan suburb of Westport, Connecticut, Silver’s compositions are embedded with a lyricism and balance that define his trademark style. In 2003 Silver broke away from documentary work, and began to create altered landscape images through experimental dark room techniques and paper manipulation. The artist’s new direction would result in series such as From the Medium to the Message, capturing water abstractions that bear witness to the effects of people in their environment, and New Vision, featuring one-of-a-kind compositions that relate most readily to Abstract Expressionist works and experimental imagery from the Bauhaus School.
Born in 1934 in New York, Silver studied photography at the High School of Industrial Art in 1949. The school's proximity to Peerless Camera Store enabled Silver to meet numerous members of the prestigious Photo League, including W. Eugene Smith, Weegee and Lou Bernstein. In Silver's senior year, he won first prize in the Scholastic-Ansco Photography Awards, and was granted a full scholarship to the Art Center School in Los Angeles. He has had three solo exhibitions with Bruce Silverstein in 2002, 2007 and 2011.
He has had group and solo exhibitions in prominent institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Tampa Museum of Art, Florida; International Center of Photography, New York; New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; Delaware Art Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Brooklyn Museum, New York; High Museum of Art, Atlanta; National Museum of Chinese History, Beijing. He was also featured in the exhibition The Radical Camera: New York's Photo League, 1936-1951 at the Jewish Museum, New York.
Larry Silver’s work is in over 25 museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Smithsonian Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Minneapolis Institute of Arts; Brooklyn Museum, New York; Boston Museum of Fine Arts; Houston Museum of Fine Arts; Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut; and the George Eastman House, Rochester.
His work has been published in numerous books and catalogues including Made in California (2000); New York, Portrait of a City (2010); This Was the Photo League (2001) and Suburban Visions (2002).