Metric Figure #1, 2007, glazed porcelain, 35.75″x 28″
Bobby Silverman’s brilliantly glazed large scale porcelain tiles began as raw clay in China, where ceramic tradition dates back hundreds of years. Working with expert craftsman, Silverman designed a paper thin flat tile ranging upward in size to 43”x33”, in itself a technical achievement. The tile “blank” is fabricated in Jingdezhen, China, fired to high temperature, crated and shipped to his studio in the United States. Silverman then masterfully glazes the porcelain and fires it numerous times in his kiln to create a visual language of pure color field, vivid striping, or abstract text using Morse code or Braille. Because Silverman makes his masterful understanding of the chemistry of ceramics look effortless, the viewer sees a pristine, vibrant work of art that is reminiscent of color field painting, but resonates with a color and light that only glaze can achieve.
Silverman is currently the Director of the prestigious Ceramics Department at the 92nd Street YMCA in New York City. His work is in the permanent collections of European Ceramic Work Center, s’Hertogenbosch, Holland; the Archie Bray Foundation, Helena, MT; Canton Museum of Art, Canton, OH; Ceramic Research Center at Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe, AZ; Chattahoochee Valley Art Museum, La Grange, GA; Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Sedalia, MO; ; Holter Museum of Art, Helena, MT;The Maraer Collection, Scripps College, Claremont, CA; The Mint Museum, Charlotte, NC; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, New York, NY; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS; President’s Collection, Clark University, Worcester, MA; Racine Art Museum, Racine, WI, Shein-Joseph International Ceramics Museum, Alfred, NY; and numerous private collections.