—About Karen Silve
Silve has exhibited throughout the world. In 2015, her work was collected by the new U.S. Consulate in Monterrey, Mexico for their permanent collection. In addition, Silve has exhibited her work extensively in solo exhibitions including at the Portland Performing Arts Center, the Forsyth Center at Texas A&M University, the Visual Art Center of Northwest Florida, the Tuscaloosa Performing Arts Center and the West Linn Public Library in Oregon. Group exhibitions include those at the Embassy in Doha, Qatar as part of the Art in Embassies Program, the Dixon Museum in Memphis TN, the Jemison-Carnegie Heritage Museum Talledega AL, and she was a Resident Artist at Texas A&M University in 2011.
Silve’s memories, surroundings and interactions inform her works. As elegantly described by Peter Frank, Associate Editor of Fabrik Magazine and art critic for The Huffington Post, Silve takes “cues from Cézanne no less than from De Kooning, from Marin no less than from Mitchell, Silve embraces a history of modernist mark-making in order to respond adequately to a world of colors and volumes and temperatures. Without painting landscapes or still lifes, Silve is still a painter of space and the things it contains. She takes inspiration from the places she inhabits and the objects and events she witnesses to “charge” her art. Her paintings do not describe or even suggest her surroundings so much as taste of them. We come away from Silve’s canvases less with an idea of what the Pacific Northwest or the south of France looks like than with a feel of, and for, northern Oregon and the Mediterranean interior, perhaps in the same painting. ....Silve’s painting, however, is not simply about nature, but is natural, the way Monet’s and Mitchell’s is. Like those imposing predecessors, Silve is not content to reflect, but must embody, observation and sensation in her work.”
Ann Landi, a contributing writer for ARTnews, wrote about Silve’s work:
“Like her famous progenitors—Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock, and Joan Mitchell—Silve depends on a certain degree of spontaneity, the impact of the immediate gesture, to draw viewers into her paintings. To paraphrase the great New York School critic Harold Rosenberg, What goes into the canvas is not a picture but an event. In Silve’s case, it is the act of remembering landscapes, music, or even a particular friend. She brings her whole body to the task of painting, as Pollock did, feeling the energy running through her system and imparting a sense of corporeal presence and gesture to paint and canvas. Significantly, many of her works are human-scaled—sometimes the same height as the viewer—so that we relate to these works with our own bodies and enter into the painter’s dialogue with her materials.”
Silve’s work is held by hundreds of private collections as well as in numerous corporate collections. She maintains two studios, one in Portland, Oregon, and the other in Provence, France.