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Review: Adam Silverman's richly textured way with clay

December 27, 2012|By Leah Ollman
  • Adam Silverman's installation of pots at Edward Cella.
Adam Silverman's installation of pots at Edward Cella. (Edward Cella Art Architecture )

The surfaces of Adam Silverman's new clay pots at Edward Cella feel generated by organic forces over time. Some are crusty and cratered, like hardened lava. Some bear the deep cracks of parched earth. Others look sheathed in creeping lichen. The vessels are relatively conventional in shape (spheres and extrapolations on the gourd), but after layered glazes and multiple firings, they're striking and inventive when it comes to texture and color.

Silverman, who trained and previously worked as an architect, describes what he does as "creating an object or skin that holds space." His works have the hybrid energy of functional sculptural paintings.

In the front gallery, two dozen pots are arrayed on a fantastic table (designed by architect Kulapat Yantrasast) made of raw wood planks splayed atop black sawhorses. The objects and their support make for a dynamic installation.

A second gallery contains egg-shaped and monolithic ceramic sculptures, each resting upon a cylindrical base of colored cement. The combination comes across as a slightly precious riff on modernist abstraction à la Brancusi, though the objects' surfaces here, too, are intriguingly pocked, studded, crackled, frothy and splashed with color.

Silverman's raw, gestural Ab-Ex approach owes much to Peter Voulkos, and his geologically-inspired glazes are indebted to Otto Natzler, but the L.A.-based artist's sensibility is distinctly, deliciously his own.

Edward Cella Art + Architecture, 6018 Wilshire Blvd., (323) 525-0053, through Dec. 29. www.edwardcella.com

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