Carole Silverstein “our mingling spirits”
Apr 3 — May 18, 2019
Check gallery website for hours and additional info
Nancy Toomey Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Carole Silverstein entitled our mingling spirits on view from April 3 to May 18, 2019. The gallery is located inside San Francisco’s Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street. The public is invited to the artist reception on Saturday, April 6, from 5pm to 7pm. The artist will be present. Join the event page here.
Carole Silverstein elevates the feminine and the mystical through a sensuous and extravagant beauty. In her paintings, Silverstein traces by hand, combines, and alters ornamental patterns from many cultures and places in an effort to understand and embody the sacred languages they symbolize–Islamic tiles and architecture, Japanese clouds, Celtic knot-work, and Spanish, Indian, and Kuba textiles, among others. She gets her inspiration predominantly from non-Western patterns that celebrate a diversity of form, often acting as veils and screens to another consciousness. Yoga, Buddhist meditation, and other mystical traditions are longtime supports to her artistic practice.
Silverstein makes her art on the floor. The trance-like elaborate patterns are painted by hand, often traced through the translucent mylar and then altered. The process is repetitive, obsessive, and devotional. She also will add stains and rub with rags, to project an image of architectural or calligraphic lines into the composition. The acrylic inks are alternately reflective, metallic, matte, transparent, and opaque. The subtle spatial shifts in the work between color, surface, and scale contribute to an ongoing sense of veiling and unveiling, absence and presence. Responding to the contemporary speed of technology, the paintings invite a meditative slowness, designed to invite dreaming and reflection.
When viewing the paintings the ambient light in the room will shift one’s spatial experience as parts become illuminated or disappear and recede. In our mingling spirits she also includes a floor installation/drawing at the perimeter made of black sand and glitter, in conversation with the paintings and prints on the walls. This is to heighten a viewer’s spatial, perceptual, and bodily awareness. The artist wants to move each person towards their most private, internal spaces.
For the past 20 years, Silverstein has been making collages in hardbound books. These are the counterparts to her time-consuming paintings. The rule is to make each original collage as quickly as possible so as to access a non-linear, non-rational thinking and decision-making process through speed. She cuts up magazines–positive and negative shapes–which are pre-made colors, patterns, and textures that she can just grab when she is composing and the moment strikes. She has just finished her 10th book and there are over 900 images/pages, some of which she also has made into limited edition prints. Nine of these are part of this exhibition.
The collages/prints transport us into the logic of dreams and feel like visual poems. The imagery is constructed through juxtapositions, revealing divergent systems and their points of contact. Like fairy tales, each spring from the subconscious. They induce travel as a state of mind and suggest the simultaneity of cosmic events.
Silverstein says, “My work is an antidote to our culture where people have to reckon with the feminine power and intelligence that the world is missing or devaluing. Also, a connection to the sacred that the world deeply needs. And lastly, a contemplation of a multiplicity of cultural views and our interdependence. This I hope to unlock as an embodied experience within each person and reverberate out into the culture.”
Carole Silverstein is a Los Angeles based artist who received her MFA from Queens College CUNY and BFA from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago with additional summer study in Umbria, Italy. Silverstein’s art has been shown in galleries and alternative venues throughout the United States, and was featured in We Must Risk Delight: 20 Artists from Los Angeles at the 2015 Venice Biennale, an official collateral exhibition. Her work also was in a traveling exhibition in London, Paris, Berlin, Manila, Cape Town, and Johannesburg. In addition to numerous private collections, her work is in The Salser Collection, Art for Healing, Art in US Embassies in Djibouti, and Citibank. Last year her prints were published in December Magazine, the Los Angeles Press and VoyageLA Magazine. In 2018 she traveled on an Art Research Grant to Andalusia, Spain & Morocco. Her newly published full-color Painting Catalogue with essay by Elizabeta Betinski of BardoLA is now available at the gallery and select fine art bookstores. Silverstein has been a Sponsored Artist with two Artist Materials Grants since 2016. She has been using Grafix Drafting Film as well as Daler Rowney’s Acrylic Inks for many years, and wishes to thank them for providing materials for this show.