new-york

Martin Silverman

Hamilton Gallery

Martin Silverman’s sculpture is positioned at the cutting edge of a peculiarly American morality. His human figures, modeled in clay, cast in bronze with patinas, are always shown in action and have the earthbound, clubby look that our popular culture has deemed fit for prototypes of national innocence: the baggy-suited men in Frank Capra movies, Gene Kelly’s sailors, the figures in WPA bas-reliefs. But Silverman manages to subvert our expectations of public propriety without attempting to subvert the innocence of his subjects.

Eden is a little girl in pigtails and dress, sitting in a typically childlike “second position” and cradling a doll. She conforms to our idea of slightly old-fashioned playground monuments (like the 1958 Alice in Wonderland by Hideo Sasaki and Jose de Creeft, in Central Park) but for the fact that her chest is half-bared and that she is pretending to “nurse the baby.”

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