press release

Private View: Thursday 17 January, 6-8pm

IBID PROJECTS is pleased to present a solo exhibition with London-based artist Daniel Silver. ‘Making Something Your Own’ will contain a new multi-part sculptural environment consisting of marble and wood carvings, as well as a number of recent individual works.

Silver’s practice has, since he graduated from the Royal College of Art sculpture course in 2001, focused largely upon a specific and rigorous exploration of materials and the psychological possibilities of the three-dimensional form. The artist works closely within the tradition of sculptors such as Henri Gaudier-Brzeska and Henry Moore, as well as touching upon the explicitly psychological aspects of more contemporary practitioners such as Louise Bourgeois and Franz West. Where Silver displays his own distinctiveness is in his often unusual juxtaposition of traditional with modern materials, the way in which disparate and formally disconnected objects are brought together, and his insistence on the human body as a starting point, offering the viewer an immediate way of connecting to his work.

Previously having been described as ‘autistic’ or ‘dyslexic’ sculpture, in Silver’s work the figure is often mutated or smoothed down to an essential form. Each piece is imbued with its own personality, as if having been taken through a particular process, hewn or shaped until they have come to represent a particular physical or mental state. Silver himself has referred to his interest in the way that objects can be marked by time and history – for example the excavated Classical sculptures that are now shown in the museum in a fragmentary state, limbs missing or surfaces scarred – and how this creates a sense of narrative meaning or empathy from within the viewer.

For his solo show at IBID PROJECTS Silver’s starting point was a visit in 2007 to a marble quarry in Southern Italy. Working on stone pulled from the site, sometimes that had been part-carved and subsequently discarded by locals and sometimes working from unhewn blocks, Silver has produced a group of carved figures whereby it is not always clear which marks are made by the artist and which marks are ‘found’ or appropriated. Individually, each work quotes or borrows forms from many sources: the portrait bust, Roman sarcophagi, as well as industrial furniture and Modernist architecture. Placed together in configuration, these tactile, humanised forms suggest a situation in which the viewer is asked what is going on: what might their relationship be to one another, or what shared experience might they have faced? Through the use of a precise range of materials – here marble, wood and poured plaster – Silver has created objects that can be disorientating, melancholic and violent. Each contain a vital psychological charge that is as historicising as it is a comment on the wider role of sculpture.

Daniel Silver, born 1972, graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2001. Group shows have included ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’ at Camden Arts Centre, London (2001); ‘London in Zurich’ at Hauser & Wirth, Zurich (2005); and ‘Ten of the Best’ at Tal Esther Gallery, Tel-Aviv (2006). Solo exhibitions have included ‘Daniel Silver’ at Pescali & Sprovieri, London (2005) and ‘Heads’, which was shown at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland and travelled to Camden Arts Centre, London (both 2007).

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Daniel Silver
Making Something Your Own