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Originally trained in painting, Anna Silver now uses her oversized Attic vessels as her canvas. In her Los Angeles studio she creates ceramic vessels that walk the line between classical and modern and functional and decorative. Bright biomorphic forms suggesting a fresh take on abstract expressionism cover the surfaces of her large teapots, vases and urns. With her newer reliquary boxes, Silver demonstrates her versatility as an artist as she uses her painterly skills to different ends.

Although Silver began as a painter, her interests were always wide-ranging and she has drawn on a variety of influences to form her distinctive style. She began by studying painting, printmaking and sculpture at the University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles and at the Art Students League in New York. In the early 1950’s she studied with Fernand Léger in Paris and then returned to Los Angeles to Otis Art Institute where she was introduced to ceramics by the now legendary group working there, including Peter Voulkos, Michael Frimkess, Billy Al Bengston and Paul Soldner. After devoting time starting a family and exploring various media during the 1960’s, Silver turned entirely to clay in 1975. For a few years her surfaces displayed a range of painting styles, but by the mid 1980’s she hit upon her signature style of primarily abstract forms. Her large vessels, inspired primarily by Greek vases of the Attic period, take those classical forms and pull them in new directions. She may add overstated, swooping handles to an urn, or stretch the neck of a vase in an extreme interpretation of classical grace.In each of these pieces, the contrast between elegant, refined form and exuberant surface treatment creates a rich dialogue that draws both the eye and the mind.

In 2003, Silver began a new body of work based around the closed form of the box rather than the open form of the vessel. In these closed, angular forms, suggestive of reliquary boxes, Silver has also changed her approach to surface treatment. While her painterly style is still present, it is limited to a defined space on each box. A square of expressive color accents one side of a box otherwise covered in a dark, metallic glaze and a few active brush marks of brilliant blue and red cross through gold luster on another. This recent work demonstrates Silver’s drive to explore new aspects of her craft and her ability to integrate her well-known style into new forms.


Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles
Art Students League, New York
Studio of Fernand Leger, Paris
University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Berkeley

Museum Collections

Arizona State University, Tempe
Canton Art Institute, Canton, Ohio
Hallmark Collection, Kansas City, Missouri
Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, California
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Republic of China
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2001     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
1998     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
1997     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica
1996     Frank Lloyd Gallery, Los Angeles
1995     Cohen Berkowitz Gallery, Kansas City, Missouri
1994     Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1992     Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1991     Garth Clark Gallery, New York
1990     Garth Clark Gallery, New York
            Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1989     Garth Clark Gallery, New York
1988     Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1987     Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1986     Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1985     Garth Clark Gallery, Los Angeles
1982     Palos Verdes Art Center, Palos Verdes, California