Anna Silver at AMOCA: Silver Splendor: Reimagining Painting on Ceramic Vessel
It’s interesting to think about an artist’s recognition, especially regarding Anna Silver, my dear friend, confidante, and advisor. Anna recently celebrated her 90th birthday and has produced over 2,500 ceramic pieces in her long career. We celebrated with Anna at the opening of her first solo exhibition at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. The event was well attended, and the energy was fantastic.
Anna Silver is an American ceramic artist whose work pushes the boundaries of traditional techniques and forms. Her artistic practice is centered around the intersection of painting and sculpture, combining classic, functional forms with modern aesthetics to create unique and captivating pieces.
Silver studied with Fernand Léger in Paris in the 1950s and later attended the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, where she was introduced to ceramics by a group of artists, including Peter Voulkos, Michael Frimkess, Billy Al Bengston, and Paul Soldner. Although trained in painting, Silver found her passion in ceramics, which she uses as a platform for exploring three-dimensional painting.
One of the key aspects of Silver’s work is her use of the ceramic vase as a canvas. This allows her to create works that are both beautiful and functional while also drawing attention to the historical and cultural significance of ceramics.
Her paintings on vases are highly detailed and often feature intricate patterns and designs created with a range of techniques, including brushwork, sgraffito, and underglaze painting. The resulting compositions are visually stunning and technically impressive, with a sense of movement and energy that draws the viewer in.
Silver’s work features abstract forms and bold colors, creating a dynamic visual language that is modern and not drawn from any historic ceramic genres. Her pieces are innovative and daring, steering clear of traditional ideas about imagery organization and conventional notions of taste and style. Instead, Silver opts for a pictorial approach that utilizes the entire form to support an overall dynamic composition.