Exhibition | Silver Lining: Contemporary Works in Silverpoint

Silver Lining: Contemporary Works in Silverpoint


May 22 – July 29, 2018

Sanderson Gallery

Artists are breathing new life into techniques and forms found in centuries old fine and decorative arts, and they are incorporating contemporary attitudes and approaches in their work. Our Contemporary Connections series of exhibitions uses the strengths of our collection to make connections to contemporary art. This year’s installment relates to our Georgian silver collection, in honor of our new book The Currency of Taste: The Gibbons Georgian Silver Collection of the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, published in celebration of the Museum’s 95th Anniversary.


A silverpoint drawing is made by dragging a silver object across a surface, often prepared with some type of primer. The silver is usually in a rod or wire form, but a drawing can also be made with the edge of a piece of silver flatware. Over time, the lines of silver oxidize, or mix with oxygen, and this causes subtle changes in their tonality. Images made in this medium can seem ethereal and mysterious because of the low contrast between the colors of the silver and the paper.


Works by six artists are included in the exhibition. Aj Smith creates silverpoint portraits of individuals who live in relatively remote isolated communities of the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta to celebrate their gifts of honesty and majestic ordinariness, even when they are faced with political, economic, and social deprivation. Koo Schadler’s mixed media drawings, which include silverpoint and other metalpoint as well as egg tempera and gold leaf, are akin to Renaissance works that highlight the beauty of human and animal subjects alike. Susan Schwalb juxtaposes a wide variety of metals, including silver, gold, tin, and copper in horizontal bands to evoke an atmosphere of serenity in her abstract works. Tom Mazzullo’s silverpoint drawings begin with observation and are done from life to find the beauty, balance, and perfection in everyday objects. The silverpoint medium, with its delicate lines and gentle tones, is perfectly suited to capture the intimate still life subjects of Jeffrey Lewis. Carol Prusa covers spherical shapes in silverpoint drawings and ground graphite and then embeds fiber optics and lights to evoke the grandeur of the cosmos and complicated systems of the human body.


Silver Lining: Contemporary Works in Silverpoint was co-curated by Kristen Miller Zohn, Curator of Collections and Exhibitions at LRMA, and Hannah Israel, Gallery Director of the Illges Gallery at Columbus State University in Georgia, where the exhibition will travel this fall.



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