Jeanne Silverthorne: Peripheral Vision

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The MCKEE GALLERY is pleased to present the new sculptures of JEANNE SILVERTHORNE in an exhibition opening on Thursday, March 1, and continuing through Wednesday, April 18, 2012.

For many years now, Silverthorne has taken the studio as her subject. The physical site of her creativity is also the inspirational probe of her art. Her studio in a 19th century, unrenovated building in Soho with visible wiring, creaky floors, exposed ceiling pipes, bare light bulbs supplies all the images she needs. Her subjects surround and envelope her. Sometimes she works directly with her space. She will make a mold, for example, of her studio floor and then infuse it with symbols of gothic decadence of ruin and collapse, such as dandelions and weeds growing between the floorboards. It is a vision of one’s environment that is existentialist in its portrayal of the absurd and the fleetingness of existence. These are metaphors for the inevitability of age and decay, but tempered with humor, hope and humanity.

Although the artist says she looks at her studio as an archaeological site, it is more than just the excavation of a physical place. The excavation uncovers an emotional place as well, where the viewer recognizes the darker aspects of the human condition and identifies with them in these works. Starting from her particular site Silverthorne creates another, more universal place where we have all been.

The exhibition will have 30 new sculptures, first fashioned in clay and then cast in rubber, including 2 small figures, one a skeleton, the other a self-portrait; several floor pieces with dandelions pushing up or roots pushing down; sticks of dynamite with phosphorescent sparks called long fuse and short fuse; a series of small and large storage crates in rubber and wood; light bulbs, hanging or resting on crates; and delicate butterflies, all legs and tentacles individually cast in rubber and then carefully glued together, fleeting symbols of optimism and joy.

Born in 1950 in Philadelphia, she received a BA and an MA from Temple University, and has had numerous one-person gallery and museum exhibitions that include PS 1, New York; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; the Whitney Museum of American Art at Philip Morris, New York. Her work is also included in several major museum collections, including the Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, TX; Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Providence; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Jeanne Silverthorne is currently teaching at the School of Visual Arts, New York City.

Skeleton with Boxing Gloves and Crate 2012
platinum silicone rubber, phosphorescent pigment
12 x 12 x 12 inches
30.5 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm
Edition of 10

Floor with Roots 2012
platinum silicone rubber, thread, wood
11 3/8 x 40 x 16 inches
29 x 101.5 x 40.5 cm
Edition of 3

Crate VII 2012
platinum silicone rubber, wood
40 x 57 1/4 x 25 1/2 inches
101.5 x 145.5 x 65 cm

Catalogue available with an essay by Nancy Princenthal. For further information and photographs,
please contact Karyn Behnke at 212-688-5951 or