Lois Silver - 36 Paintings for 36 Years

Harris Harvey Gallery

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EXHIBITION: December 1, 2022 - January 14, 2023
Opening Reception: First Thursday, December 1, 6-8 PM

In 36 Paintings for 36 Years, Lois Silver shares new oil paintings as she nods to 36 years of exhibiting with Harris Harvey Gallery, formerly known as the Lisa Harris Gallery. Celebrating this special long-term partnership between artist and gallery as well as the longevity of her professional career, Silver shares recent compositions in the signature blend of mirth and mood that have made her a beloved artist in Seattle’s art scene.

Silver creates vibrant narrative paintings that often depict evocative social encounters between characters at parties, musical performances, diners, and in outdoor environments. At times cheerful, other times subdued or curious, her paintings portray cognitive entanglements that create tension between her characters. Other scenes are focused on solitary figures engrossed in highly personal moments of triumph, deep thought or isolation. Sharing her light-hearted sense of humor, many of Silver’s characters can be observed in awkward or unusual circumstances.

These complex tableaux are often inspired by the artist’s love of cinema. She often captures her figures in a specific moment of drama, mid-pose as if they are in a frame still of a movie. The artist shares, “There are geniuses in cinematography, so why not embrace what they've done? I’ve discovered overhead shots, and well designed shots, plus backgrounds that I wouldn't have imagined, that have greatly influenced me. I never copy a video scene—I add my own people, or take out people, or change the clothing, gender, etc. And probably add a dog or two. I love dogs…I’ve always been extraordinarily drawn to them.”

Silver is well equipped in capturing gestural mannerisms, a practice that has become second-hand nature due to her many years of professional experience as a courtroom artist. Silver states, “This causes me to look at people differently and focus my attention on how character is revealed through body language and the quick gesture.”

In her paintings, the features of her figures are playfully conjured or endowed with exaggerated proportions to heighten visual interest. The era of her narratives could suggest the 50’s or 60’s, with dapper men in suits, and women in colorful polka dot dresses. The artist, (born in 1950), reveals, “I enjoy the style of clothing of the 50's…women wore modest dresses. Critic Gary Faigan wrote a nice review of my work in 2006…he called them ‘Betty Crocker ladies,’ which is fitting I think. Plus dresses swirl and bend and have their own personality.“

Lois Silver’s paintings encompass a delectable style recognizable by her theatrical settings, a colorful palette with deep hues of orange, red, yellow and blue, and the alluring drama of her characters. Her paintings may be found in many corporate collections, including those of the University of Washington Medical Center, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Nordstrom, and Swedish Medical Center. Silver’s work is part of many collections of private individuals throughout the United States and Canada. Harris Harvey Gallery, previously Lisa Harris Gallery, has exhibited Lois Silver’s work since 1986.

Harris Harvey Gallery

1915 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101

Tues-Sat 11-6



Harris Harvey Gallery, the reincarnation of the 37-year old Lisa Harris Gallery, is a leading Seattle fine art gallery where new and experienced collectors go to find paintings, prints, photography, and sculpture of the highest quality. Conveniently located in the historic Pike Place Market district and West Edge neighborhood of Seattle, the gallery is within walking distance of the Seattle Art Museum and SAM Olympic Sculpture Park. Harris Harvey Gallery specializes in contemporary art by local, regional, and West Coast artists, many from the Seattle area. Drawing from its group of emerging, mid-career, and established artists, the gallery mounts rotating exhibitions and participates in the First Thursday Seattle Downtown Gallery Art Walk.