In the past, Silverstein's work referenced the material world by sourcing a pre-ordained subject or image. By isolating silhouettes of color and recording them on a preliminary grid, Silverstein created a topographical map of the subject using layers of colors. These perceived representational images reveal a face designated only by virtue of its composing elements.
No matter how painterly Silverstein's work may feel, it always has drawing at its core. The artist is concerned with edge, and calls it, "the most primitive mark separating dark from light, subject from ground and sky from earth." An edge is reductive and essential -- It delineates a form. This notion prompts Silverstein to ask, "Once the line encloses a space, at what point does that space take shape and become an object?"
In Silverstein's latest work, her commitment to a single source image or conceptual hypothesis is gone. She says that she "allows" each work to unfold and to do "whatever feels necessary." In this process, Silverstein works with the edge freely and does not constrain herself to transcribing edges from something external. Instead of observing overlapping shapes, Silverstein now cuts out shapes and positions them in relation to one another.
"All Over," composed of pieces of canvas adhered to a 79" x 86" canvas, has a neutral palette while pastel contours emphasize the edges. A layer of a neon orange, stenciled triangles repeat over this montage with thin, delineating lines that feel cold against the warm ground of taupes. Silverstein traces perimeters and, in so doing, suggests an aerial map of relationships.
Silverstein continues to question process, conceptually and materially. Her newest works on canvas signal a new way of working, offering still lifes in whole and fractals, abstracted sea and landscapes, and patterns reminiscent of Asian textiles. Her re-imagined compositions are flattened by collage, scaled larger than life and playfully mirror the material world in what is Silverstein's latest symbiosis of perception and objecthood.
Ali Silverstein, a California-native, moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico three years after completing her MFA at London's Slade School of Fine Art. Silverstein's third solo exhibition will open at Bischoff/Weiss Gallery on September 24, 2013 and coincides with London's Frieze Art Fair (October 17-20, 2013). The London gallery will unveil Silverstein's seven large works on canvas that recall the artist's previous visual language, albeit in a new guise.