Jeanne Silverthorne

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Jeanne Silverthorne (born January 7, 1950) is an American artist.

Early life and work[edit]

Jeanne Silverthorne was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She completed undergraduate and graduate study at Temple University before moving to New York in the late 1980s. Silverthorne is known for casting sculptures in rubber, a material that “appeals to her because its tactile qualities render objects more organic . . . fleshy and . . . less serious.” [1]

Silverthorne’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art New York, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Albright–Knox Art Gallery.

Much of Silverthorne’s work references the image of the artist’s studio, which she has treated “as if it were an archaeological site” to be excavated, documented and inventoried.[2] Her installations often feature the outdated pipes and wiring of her workspace, cast in industrial black rubber. This infrastructure has been likened to an arterial system with the rubber electrical wires “standing in as prosthetic viens [sic?].” [3] Thus Silverthorne also uses the studio as a metaphor for the body. Silverthorne has a “tendency to anthropomorphize not just her objects but the studio itself.” [4] Her process, which involves modeling in clay and making molds before casting in rubber, is “intensely physical” and “laden with the elements of absurdity and futility, and even . . . romanticism.”[5]

In recent work Silverthorne has added a kinetic aspect to some of her rubber sculptures, as well as phosphorescent pigment. Once such piece is Pneuma Machine, 2005, in which rubber machines move and shake while glowing in the dark. Silverthorne has also worked with video and photography, again referencing the “deteriorating antiquated condition of the [studio] building,” making it seem “haunted” by “all its once avant-garde, now historical practices.”[6]


Silverthorne received a Penny McCall Foundation Grant in 2002, an Anonymous Was A Woman Grant in 1996, and a National Endowment for the Arts Grant in 1980.


  • Cotter, Holland. Review. New York Times, August 13, 1999.
  • FlynnTom. The Body in Three Dimensions. Harry N. Abrams, Inc., New York, 1998. Frankel, David. “Jeanne Silverthorne, McKee Gallery,” Artforum, September 2008.
  • Isaac, JoAnna. Feminism and Contemporary Art. Routledge, New York, 1996.
  • Kimmelman, Michael. Review. New York Times, March 7, 1997.
  • Mizota, Sharon, “Follow the Bouncing Exhibit,” Los Angeles Times, November 6, 2009.
  • Ostrow, Saul. “Interview with Jeanne Silverthorne.” Bomb Magazine, Summer, 1990.
  • Princenthal, Nancy. Review. Art in America.,October, 2008.
  • Rubinstein, Raphael. Polychrome Confusion. Hard Press Editions, 2003.
  • Seigel, Jeanne. “Eva Hesse’s Influence Today? Conversations with Three Contemporary
  • Artists,” Art Journal, Summer, 2004, pp. 73–88.
  • Von Hardenberg, Irene. Atelierbesuche.Gerstenberg Verlag, 2005


  1. ^ Debra Singer, “Perseverance in the Face of Absurdity,” in Jeanne Silverthorne: The Studio Stripped Bare, Whitney Museum of Art, 1999, pp. 1–12.
  2. ^ JoAnna Isaak, “On Fragmentation, Loss and the Studio’s Ruin” in Jeanne Silverthorne, Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, 1996, pp.13–17.
  3. ^ Alfred McAdam, Review, Art News, Summer, 2008.
  4. ^ Michael Howell, Jeanne Silverthorne: Toward a New Century, Wright Museum of Art, Beloit, Wisconsin, 1998, pp. 5–10.
  5. ^ Howell, p.9.
  6. ^ Raphael Rubinstein, “Jeanne Silverthorne: The Limbo of Metamorphosis,” in Jeanne Silverthorne, McKee Publications, New York, 2008, pp. 5–11.
  • Johnson, Ken (May 23, 2003). "ART IN REVIEW; Jeanne Silverthorne, The New York Times".

External links[edit]