Working with materials that change over time, Silver's work forms a poetics of decomposition, an entanglement with rupture and destruction as processes of making, where decomposition is figured not as the antithesis of composition but as an aesthetic of (dis-)organisation. Time is present as a dialogue with history - in Untitled (When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd), Silver produces a series of porcelain busts of himself reproducing Bruce Nauman's iconic Self Portrait as a Fountain (1966-67). Silver's reference to Nauman, which is in turn a reference to Duchamp's iconic Fountain sculpture (1917), extends a conversation on the history of contemporary art between artists across different time periods, locations and contexts. The busts have then been tagged and graffitied by different groups of 'youth', a moment of collaboration that indexes the modern public bathroom as a site of anonymous mark-making and a playful meditation on the history of conceptual art and the status of the readymade. Excerpt from catalogue essay by Andrew Brooks, 2016
Courtesy of Sullivan+Strumpf
The multidisciplinary practice of Sydney-based artist Tim Silver is inextricably hinged on time, both conceptually and materially. Working across sculpture, photography and installation, Silver explores the interface between time and decay, particularly in relation to the human body. His sculptures are often made from entropic materials, such as fairy floss and putty, which begin to decompose from the moment of their assembly. By photographically capturing these stages of decay, the artist presents us with a microcosmic image of our own inevitable trajectory towards death. There is a paradoxical beauty that emerges from within the warped and crumbled forms, precipitating a poignant awareness of the preciousness and fragility of human life.
Silver’s works are held in many important collections including Artbank; Art Gallery of New South Wales; Australia Council for the Arts; Mint Museum, North Carolina, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; Ten Cubed Collection, Melbourne; and University of Queensland Art Museum Collection.
Selected solo and group exhibitions include Primavera at 25: Museum of Contemporary Art Australia Collection, Murray Art Museum, Albury (2017); Yinchuan Biennale: For an Image, Faster than Light, Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan, China (2016); You Promised Me Poems, Sullivan+Strumpf, Sydney (2016); Oneirophrenia, Centre for Contemporary Photography, Melbourne (2016); Talking to the Shadows, McClelland Sculpture Park & Gallery, Langwarrin (2015); Tim Silver, Ten Cubed Collection, Melbourne (2013); Seven Points (Part Two): Daniel Boyd, Newell Harry, Kate Mitchell, Tim Silver, Embassy of Australia, Washington DC (2013); We used to talk about love, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2013); Parallel Collisions, 2012 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, Art Gallery of South Australia; and I-lands, Kunsthallen brandts, Copenhagen (2009).
porcelain, enamel, acrylic
34 x 44 x 20 cm
WSSP Winner; Finalist
Judges of the 2018 Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize: Michael Lynch AO CBE (Australian Arts administrator, former Director of Sydney Opera House and former CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong) and Amanda Love (Director Loveart, independent Art Advisory).
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