I make drawings and installations where unexpected materials are combined to explore the order, disorder, and evasiveness of language. The materials are sometimes fugitive and barely visible. In Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously, I drew a sentence diagram of linguist Noam Chomsky’s famous line in silver leaf on the floor. The sentence can be parsed syntactically although its meaning is more elusive. Rational space is interrupted by a dispersion of multicolored pompoms. Culturally-derived ideas of space inform my work. Kafka in Space: Parsing the Eruv, introduced line as “eruv”, a Hebrew term which allows for the conceptual transformation of a public secular site to a private ritual space. The neon sign which announces “eruv” in English and Hebrew is suspended in the rafters above the floor diagram of the parsed sentences from Kafka. Illuminated Newspaper plays with ideas of censorship and illumination in literal ways. The gilded censorship blocks become a double-image that performs as cancellation and type of formalist abstraction. I used Philip Levine’s poem “The House” as part of a site-specific installation in a gutted house. I wanted the viewer to walk on the salt-covered floor and experience the horizontal lines of language against the vertical supports of the gutted room. Cartoon Geometry is a tabletop installation of basic shapes that are fuzzy or shiny, upright or prone. These forms replace the lucid perfection of ideal geometry with a delinquent version that defies logic and gravity. The tabletop collections resemble a miniature circus or a goofy utopian landscape. Long Playing Geometry, a series of drawings on record sleeves, becomes ways to examine geometry and pay homage to its mathematical and poetic possibilities. By examining the relationship of drawing and writing I strive to invent new means of giving a visual presence to language (with or without words) and to explore ways in which a work of art can be read.
Artist Bio / CV
Suzanne Silver is an associate professor in the Painting & Drawing program of the Department of Art at The Ohio State University. Silver studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and received an AB from Smith College and an MFA at The Ohio State University. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including the Axel Raben Gallery in NYC, Nexus Contemporary Art Center in Atlanta, CJM in San Francisco, Michlelet David Yellin in Jerusalem, the Castle of Otranto in Otranto, Italy, the Weston Art Gallery in Cincinnati, The Bureau for Open Culture and the Columbus Museum of Art. She has received an Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award and grants in mixed media and in sculpture from the Greater Columbus Arts Council and drawing from the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Silver advocates an expansive approach to the medium of drawing and combines unexpected materials such as powders, balloons, gold leaf, thread, paints, soap, and slate to create a visual language that is open to multiple readings.