Exhibition

Lenny Silverberg: Streets and Borders

8 Jun 2024 – 13 Jul 2024

Regular hours

Saturday
12:00 – 18:00
Wednesday
12:00 – 18:00
Thursday
12:00 – 18:00
Friday
12:00 – 18:00

Free admission

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Track 16 Gallery is pleased to announce Streets and Borders, our first solo exhibition by Bronx-based artist Lenny Silverberg. His distinctive, carefully composed ink washes on paper often poetically, subversively, and emotionally address pressing political issues, human rights, and mental health.

About

Track 16 Gallery is pleased to announce Streets and Borders, our first solo exhibition by Bronx-based artist Lenny Silverberg. His distinctive, carefully composed ink washes on paper often poetically, subversively, and emotionally address pressing political issues, human rights, and mental health. 

The works in this show were completed over a ten-year period and depict displaced persons, whether migrating from elsewhere or unhoused in their own countries. Greyish silhouettes are bent over and burdened. They move across the stark white of the paper without any clear origin or destination. Figures are not identifiable by time period or ethnic group, reminding us of the perpetual nature of these issues. 

Separated into two distinct series, the first depicts images of refugees, initially capturing the artist's interest during the Serbo-Croatian wars when images of displaced peoples engulfed news and media. Silverberg felt a need to respond and that it was the artist's job to witness and record. The resulting imagery brings to mind Goya’s The Disasters of War. Figures walk with large packs, their heads bowed; a man hurries a group of children, a mother cradles a baby in her shawl, and an elderly man staggers with his bundles of belongings. Silverberg’s grandparents were immigrants from Russia and Poland in their teens, arriving in the US without speaking the language. Fearing another upheaval, the family were always told to keep a bag packed.   

Returning to NYC after a hiatus on the West Coast, in Mexico, and joining the Haight Ashbury hippies, Silverberg moved into an artist loft at the edge of Soho, far before its gentrification. From his window, he witnessed streets filled with homelessness. He would draw the faces, a particular hat, an interesting scarf, anything that caught his eye. The resulting images start to piece together the makeshift homes and collections of these unhoused subjects but also reveal the portraits of those we overlook.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Lenny Silverberg (b. 1937, Brooklyn, New York) studied painting at Brooklyn College with Ad Reinhardt, Burgoyne Diller, and Jimmy Ernst. In the 1960’s he participated in experimental light shows with artist Bruce Conner and filmmaker Ben Van Meter that directly informed visual stage performance design for era-defining musicians and bands including Cream, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, and Janis Joplin.

In addition to being featured in countless exhibitions at galleries and museums, Silverberg's work is in the collections of The Library of Congress, the Grundwald Collection at UCLA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Achenbach Collection at The Legion Of Honor in San Francisco. His most recent show was in 2020 at the Center For Book Arts, N.Y.C.

Silverberg has taught painting and drawing at the DeYoung Museum Art School in San Francisco, the College Of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, and the Architecture Department at UC Berkeley. 

He now lives in the Bronx, New York, and in Los Ojos, New Mexico.

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Lenny Silverberg

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