Silver: Points of Departure

Guest Curated by Carol Prusa
June 25- July 30, 2011

Opening Reception: July 2nd, 6-9 pm

Though silver be white yet it maketh black lines and strakes in the body that is scored therewith. -Bartholomaeus Anglicus, from his Encyclopedia on the Properties of Things (mid-13th c.)

Silverpoint is a drawing medium in which a silver stylus is used to make marks-shimmery traces of silver-on a prepared surface. Metalpoint (lead, gold, and other metals were, and are, also used) was one of the basic drawing mediums before the broad adoption of graphite, and was widely used by artists from the 14th to the early 17th century. Unlike charcoal and chalk, it does not smudge; unlike ink, it does not fade. On the contrary: over time and exposed to air, silver tarnishes, its initial grey darkening and changing hue. On a white ground, silver can appear surprisingly dark, and on darker grounds it can shine like an old mirror.

Following a centuries-long period of near-obsolescence, silverpoint began to be revived in the late 19th century, and a diverse collection of contemporary artists have been attracted to the medium for its unique characteristics-its precise, fine line, its luster and delicacy, its warm tonalities.

Its contemporary use spans non-objective, abstract and figurative work. Each of the artists in this exhibition has found a unique point of departure with silverpoint, often combining it with other metals and mediums. Their use of silverpoint complements their body of work and demonstrates the breadth of expression possible from a simple drawing tool. Comprising artists from across the country, this luminous exhibition offers the opportunity to see new worlds created from an age-old, yet enduring, medium.

ARTISTS:  Joe Biel, Anne Connell, Lori Field, Marietta Hoferer, Michael Kukla, Kate Kretz, Carol Prusa, Susan Schwalb and Fran Siegel