Haynes Galleries presents “Burton Silverman: Engaging Canvases”
Through the End of the Summer

FRANKLIN— With paintings new to the gallery and paintings from earlier in his career, the new exhibition of Burton Silverman’s artwork at Haynes Galleries is an engaging look at a masterful career. “Engaging Canvases” features the portrait oil paintings, watercolors, and drawings of New York-based Silverman, a lion of contemporary realism. “Engaging Canvases” is on view through the summer in Haynes Galleries intimate viewing space in Franklin.

For decades Burton Silverman has painted and drawn the people he has encountered in his life. “Very early on,” he has said, “I fell in love with the landscape of the human face, where all the emotional states of life are to be found, and that love affair has not faltered.” Silverman’s love affair led him to paint individuals from all walks of life, from high-brow academics to exotic dancers and everything in between. Silverman approaches each portrait with the same dedication and sincerity, never assuming the underlying character of his subject.

The finished work is nearly unrivaled in its affect. Each is unpretentious, allowing for empathy and engagement between the subject and the viewer. It is what Silverman has been doing for decades, leading to his induction into the National Academy of Design in 1969. And he hasn’t stopped working.

One of the portraits on view for the first time at the gallery is Looking for Home, a three-quarter view of woman. The beauty of her face, half illuminated from above, half hidden in shadows, is only surpassed by the quiet intensity of her stare. An electric purple wig on the young woman in Hairspray immediately grabs the viewer’s attention but it’s her pose and mood, bordering on boredom, that makes the viewer want to look longer.

With artworks that are brand new to the gallery and some of Silverman’s most classic works, “Engaging Canvases” is a rare chance to see so many original portraits by Silverman from various times in his career all in one location.