Artists have long been concerned with representing the human form—either as portrait, anonymous figure, imagined being, or something in between. By definition, silhouette refers to either a particular type of portrait comprised of the outline of a form that was popularized in the nineteenth century, or more generically, the outline of a mass, body, or form. The tradition of silhouette portraits, in addition to the metal figures that adorn the surface of Mary Giles’ works in the gallery adjacent to Silhouette, serve as inspiration for this look at the human form in contemporary prints and art jewelry.
While prints and jewelry may not seem like obvious partners for exploring the body, both can reflect the figure in two dimensions. Using different tools, media, and approaches, all of the artists represented in this exhibition explore how to best use the human form as either a compositional element, storytelling device, or representation of an idea. Unlike traditional silhouettes, some of the works included are more detailed, a practice which adds qualities of character and personality. Similarly, an artist’s choice of material can shape impressions of what is being depicted. For example, consider how shifting from colorful, textured figures represented in the jewelry of Joyce Scott to flat, black and white prints of fragmented figures by Michael Mazur expands ideas about the human condition or the body as a conveyor of meaning.
Artists in the Exhibition
Harold Altman, Kathleen Browne, Nancy Ekholm Burkert, Robert W. Ebendorf, Jedd Garet, Terri Gelenian-Wood, Juan Genovés, Danielle Gori-Montanelli, Annette Zolin Hirsh, Judith Hoyt, Edwin Kalke, Jung-Hoo Kim, Esther Knobel, Keith Lo Bue, Michael Mazur, Bruce Metcalf, Frances Myers, Manuel Neri, John Piper, Joyce Scott, Christina Y. Smith, Anthony C. Stoeveken, Katharine Wood, and Santos Zingale