Larry Silver: Suburban Vision

Larry Silver: Suburban Vision

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arry Silver began photographing the streets and subways of New York City in 1949 at the age of 15. Silver studied photography at the High School of Industrial Art, New York (1949-53). The School's proximity to Peerless Camera Stores enabled Silver to meet numerous members of the Photo League, including W. Eugene Smith, Weegee and Lou Bernstein, who became a strong influence on his work. In Silver's senior year, he won first prize in the Scholastic-Ansco Photography Awards and was granted a scholarship to the Art Center School, Los Angeles (1954-56). During visits to the Santa Monica Beach, Silver photographed the local weightlifters, body builders, and acrobats. This celebrated series "Muscle Beach" (1954) was the subject of a solo exhibition at the International Center of Photography in 1985 and again in 1999 at the Los Angeles County Angeles County Museum of Art.


Upon moving from New York City to Westport, Connecticut in 1973, Larry Silver began his ambitious document Suburban Vision. "The city streets and subways that supplied the inspiration for my photographs were traded for country roads and beaches. I saw an opportunity to capture a both a lifestyle and a landscape that were previously foreign to me as a native New Yorker," Silver recounts. Photographs such as "Beach Showers" 1980 and the "Jogger" 1979, depict isolated human figures in strongly composed graphic environments. This body of work is stylistically reminiscent of his Photo League material yet demonstrates the evolution of his lyrical and balanced compositions that would define Silver's trademark style.


Larry Silver's work is currently in over 20 museum collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Brooklyn Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Yale University Art Gallery, and George Eastman House. His work was also included in the recent publication "This Was the Photo League". A newly released catalogue entitled Suburban Vision accompanies this exhibition.

  • Publisher: Bruce Silverstein Gallery/Meridian Press, 2002
  • 64 pages, softcover

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