—click on any image to enlarge—
These recent works continue a 30-year dissection of the studio, which has been variously the mythic residence of the genius and the failure, the haunted house of a former sweatshop, the inside of my head, the enclosing globe of the world, my father’s workshop and now in these new pieces “my mother’s house” (title of a Collette autobiography).
The focus here is on the construction of the uncertain self that operates both in the studio and in the world, with figures that range from infancy to the edge of old age, wherein hints of the monstrous or “unnatural” contrast with the blamelessness of a baby. The perceived duality of a constructed self and a rapturous, dreaming self, of seeming innocence and born knowingness, can be summed up in two quotations: from D.W. Winnicott, famed child psychoanalyst, “There is no such thing as a baby;” and from novelist Clarice Lispector, “And the unfathomable night of dreams began, vast, levitating.”
While there are nods to my own family history, these sculptures remain allusive to specific studio tropes: storage in the form of bubble wrap, packing tape, two-by-four’s, crates, hammers, a dolly, a lamp modeled on an enlargement of a scrap of casting debris, images of exhausted and frustrated labor—all cast in rubber, my chosen material for many decades.
Jeanne Silverthorne is a New York sculptor. Solo exhibitions include the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., Whitney Museum of Art, Rocca Paolinea, Perugia, P.S.1, New York, the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, the University of Kentucky Museum, career surveys at the Wright Museum, Beloit and Rowan University, a collaboration with Elaine Reichek at the Addison Museum, as well as one-person shows at galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Paris, Verona, Seoul, and Ireland.
Her work is in the collections of the following institutions: Museum of Modern Art, New York, Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., FNAC (Fondation Nationale d’Art Contemporaine),Denver Museum, Albright KnoxMuseum, Weatherspoon Museum San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Houston Museum of Fine Arts,RISDI Museum, Boca Raton Museum, Leeum.Samsung Museum, Korea, Sheldon Museum, the Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Hawaii, Addison Museum of American Art, Whitney Museum of Art.
Articles and reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Artforum, Art in America, Art News, Sculpture Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Brooklyn Rail, among other publications.
Silverthorne has been the recipient of various awards and grants: a Guggenheim Foundations grant, a Joan Mitchell foundation award, Penny McCall award, Anonymous was a Woman, Civitelli Ranieri Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts.