Donald Silverstein: A Seaplane to Abstraction, March 26 - May 2


Gallery Sakiko New York is pleased to present A Seaplane to Abstraction. For the first time, this exhibition brings together illustrative drawings, as well as abstract paintings and works on paper by Donald Silverstein (1932-2004).

Born in 1932 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Donald Silverstein was both an acclaimed illustrator and an established fine artist. His career as an illustrator began in Detroit in the early 1950s, where he worked at the Allied Artists art studio, the New Center Studios, and MDM Studios. It was not until the late 1960s after moving to London and later, New York City that he became increasingly focused on painting and by the 1980s he painted full time.

Silverstein’s illustrations are characterized by a style that blends an unmistakable sense of humor with a thorough understanding of visual harmonies. They also reveal a looseness of touch that unfolded in Silverstein’s paintings. While Silverstein’s illustrations reflect his humor and wit, his paintings show a much more serious and contemplative side. Aesthetically, Silverstein’s abstract works were informed by some of the avant-garde artists of his time, in particular by the followers of Abstract Expressionism.  His palette and sense of space however were strongly influenced by the art and cultures he encountered during his extensive travels to Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Borneo, Australia and the Fiji Islands.

It is no coincidence that many of Silverstein’s illustrations focus on travel, featuring exotic planes, air balloons or motor vehicles, for example. As much as they were trying to satisfy the clients who commissioned them, these works also express a deeply rooted desire in exploring the larger unknown. Silverstein’s abstract works continued this quest. Rich in vibrant color and expressive lines, they often translate as otherworldly landscapes, and one could argue that they are in fact depictions of the final destination: a place detached from daily or worldly concerns, where the imagination can unfold freely and adventures might await us.


Gallery Sakiko New York

Established by Sakiko Silverstein in January 2006 as homage to her late husband, Gallery Sakiko New York specializes in contemporary painting, drawing and sculpture. In the spirit of Donald Silverstein and his lifelong dedication to the arts, the gallery continues to support emerging and mid-career artists from the U.S., Europe, and Asia, creating a podium for a multi-cultural dialogue.