Artists and Designers Tell New Stories of Old Silver
by Sarah Archer
The Hyperallergic article”Artists and Designers Tell New Stories of Old Silver” by Sarah Archer features the silver “Pillinger” Kaminer Haislip and Constantin Boym collaborated on for the Museum of the City of New York exhibition New York Silver: Then and Now. See below for excepts from Hyperallergic’s online article and click on the link at the bottom to view the entire article.
“The difference between these two high-profile silver endeavors is that while Tiffany’s tips its hat to Pop Art with a Warholian copy-and-paste premise, New York Silver: Then and Now mines history to produce something totally original. The artists and designers in the Museum of the City of New York show have explored the silver objects of another world — that of New York of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, and thoughtfully interpreted their forms to speak to contemporary concerns. Doing so in a precious metal, the material of heirlooms and presentation vases, gives the effort the respect it’s due.”
“It’s not an accident that silver makes us think of grandma, whether or not our own personal grandmas actually collected, used, or displayed silver — most of them may not have. But grandmothers are culturally coded as the keepers of domestic tradition. “Grandmother’s silver” may actually be silver-plate rather than sterling, but the phrase still sounds rather refined. The works in Falino’s exhibition are designed to upend this idea, but they largely do so with a posh accent. The contemporary works range from subtle to campy, which makes them good analogs to silver from different time periods — colonial silver looks positively minimalist when compared with the flamboyant spectacle of a Victorian presentation vase. There are some witty takes on forms of hollowware that have long fallen out of regular use.
In response to John Hastier’s lovely 1750 silver porringer (a small bowl with a decorative handle), the industrial designer Constantin Boym and silversmith Kaminer Haislip created the “Pillinger,” a small dish whose handle is decorated with a design of round and oblong pills.”