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Exhibition at Didier Aaron, Inc. brings together the artworks of six living artists who work in metalpoint technique
Susan Schwalb, Harmonizations VIII, 2017. 24x24x2in silver/gold/aluminum/copper/brass/tin/platinumpoint, and black gesso on museum mt board on panel.

NEW YORK, NY.- Silverpoint brings together the artworks of six living artists who work in metalpoint technique. The artists are: Susan Schwalb, Tom Mazzullo, Lauren Amalia Redding, Sherry Camhy, Robyn Ellenbogen, and Victor Koulbak. These artists are featured in Silverpoint and Metalpoint Drawing by Susan Schwalb and Tom Mazzullo, published by Routledge (2019). A book-signing event will be held at Didier Aaron, Inc. alongside the exhibition.

A favored method for drawing by Renaissance and Old Masters before the wide availability of pencils and chalk, the silverpoint technique – which can use a stylus made of not only silver but also gold, copper, aluminum, and other alloys – has experienced a revival in the modern era, especially in the United States. Contemporary artists who are adept with the often-challenging materials involved have created widely varied and exceptionally skilled artworks rendered in very fine point with remarkable detail. The artworks range across figurative and abstract, on wood panel and paper, made with gesso and with watercolor.

Silverpoint is a technique that goes back to Raphael, Michelangelo and even antiquity. A silver-pointed tip scratches a prepared surface to create “drawings” and “paintings” of wonderful intimacy and tenderness. Paradoxically, while the method and style are pure Renaissance, the subject matter is contemporary, resulting in a glorious fusion of the past with the present. The breathtaking quality of craftsmanship must be seen first-hand to be believed.

Susan Schwalb was born in New York City and has worked in silverpoint and metalpoint drawing for over 40 years. Her work is represented in major public collections including the Museum of Modern Art; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the Brooklyn Museum.

She was one of only three living artists included in “Drawing with Silver and Gold: From Leonardo to Jasper Johns,” which opened at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and traveled to the British Museum, London. Along with Tom Mazzullo, she is the co-author of Silverpoint and Metalpoint Drawing: A Complete Guide to the Medium published in 2019 by Routledge/Focal Press.

Tom Mazzullo was born in Pennsylvania and specializes in the medium of silverpoint drawing. He has exhibited all over the United States and his works are in several notable collections. He is the co-author with Susan Schwalb of Silverpoint and Metalpoint Drawing: A Complete Guide to the Medium, published in 2019 by Routledge/Focal Press. He has taught at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, and at The University of Denver in Colorado. He has lectured and demonstrated silverpoint all over the country and currently teaches at the Art Students League of Denver in Colorado.

Lauren Amalia Redding is an artist and writer in Naples, FL. She was artist-in-residence at the Florence School of Fine Arts in Florence, Italy (housed in Giorgio Vasari’s former studio). She is a contributing writer for the Blue Review and PaintGuide. In 2018, she relocated to Florida to open H&R Studio with her sculptor husband. Lauren utilizes both the precision and the ephemera of silverpoint to create portraits of her mother’s Cuban family.

Sherry Camhy’s artwork is in several collections such as the New Orleans Museum of Art; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem; and the New York Public Library. Her work has been exhibited in and around New York and has been highlighted in books about contemporary drawing. She curated “The Silverpoint Exhibition at the National Arts Club” in New York City and has curated several other silverpoint/metalpoint exhibitions. She has given workshops at New York University, The School of Visual Arts, Art Students League of New York, and internationally. She works in Chelsea.

Robyn Ellenbogen is a visual artist and Zen Buddhist priest. During her formative years, she assisted Louise Bourgeois in print making. Her work with Bourgeois inspired her interest in phenomenology and process-related approaches to making art. Ellenbogen works primarily in metalpoint and many of the recent themes are related to her interpretation of the 12th century texts of the Buddhist monk Eihei Dogen. Her art is included in many national collections.

Victor Koulbak was born in Moscow in 1946 and began his early training there at the École des Beaux-Arts. Early in his career, he turned to the principles and techniques of the Old Masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Albrecht Dürer, Jan van Eyck, and Hans Memling. He refused the dictates of official Soviet art and in 1975 he left the U.S.S.R., settling within a year in Paris.

The past has not only inspired Koulbak, it has also infused his techniques, his subjects, and his style. He makes his own paints and papers, following the same process artists used hundreds of years ago. When he is preparing paper for a silverpoint drawing, he uses a spatula modeled on the ones for Renaissance drawings; when he primes a canvas for an oil painting, he works with elaborately-shaped knives inspired by a model the Old Masters once used. Koulbak can be called a contemporary Renaissance artist.

In conjunction with the SILVERPOINT exhibition, Didier Aaron, Inc. will host a book-signing event with the authors and artists of Silverpoint and Metalpoint Drawing: A Complete Guide to the Medium (Routledge, 2019) on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 from 5 to 8 pm.

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