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621 Grant Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94108
Appointment Recommended
415 255 9508
Jessica Silverman has an international reputation for curating compelling exhibitions, building artists’ careers, and collaborating with collectors who are keen on positive provenance. Our mission is to support artists whose relevance to contemporary culture is such that museums and other public institutions want to understand and embrace their work.

Jessica Silverman founded her gallery in 2008, after completing a BFA in Studio Art at Otis College in Los Angeles and an MA in Curatorial Practice at the California College of the Arts, San Francisco. Introduced to art by her late grandfather, Gilbert Silverman who, with his wife Lila, was the leading collector of Fluxus in America, Jessica’s nose for meaningful content and eye for formal innovation developed early.

The Gallery has participated in many selective art fairs. Last year, its annual calendar was punctuated by Art Basel Miami Beach, FIAC Paris, New York’s ADAA Art Show, and San Francisco’s Fog Design+Art. Silverman is on the Selection Committee of Expo Chicago and a member of the Art Dealers Association of America.

Works by the gallery’s artists have been acquired by museums all over the world including Tate (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Reina Sofia (Madrid), MoMA (New York), MCA Chicago, Art Institute of Chicago, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher Sculpture Center, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, not to mention SFMOMA, Berkeley Art Museum, and the De Young. For nine years, Silverman sat on the San Francisco Arts Commission where she oversaw the acquisition and commission of artworks for sites like SFO Airport. Since then, she has advised property developers, such as the Mark Company, Troon Pacific, and Related Companies.
Artists Represented:
Sadie Barnette
Andrea Bowers
Luke Butler 
Tammy Rae Carland 
Judy Chicago 
Conrad Egyir 
Martha Friedman 
Matthew Angelo Harrison 
Julian Hoeber 
John Houck 
Isaac Julien 
Matt Lipps 
Dashiell Manley 
Rashaad Newsome
Woody De Othello
Hayal Pozanti 
Sean Raspet 
Suzanne Blank Redstone
Clare Rojas 
Hugh Scott-Douglas 
Davina Semo 
Rose B. Simpson 
Amikam Toren
Catherine Wagner
Ian Wallace 
Nicole Wermers 
Claudia Wieser
Margo Wolowiec
Works Available By:


 
Online Programming

Andrea Bowers, Luke Butler, Judy Chicago, Conrad Egyir, John Houck, Dashiell Manley, Eamon Ore-Giron, Woody De Othello, Lam Tung Pang, Hayal Pozanti, Clare Rojas, Lara Schnitger, Davina Semo, Wang Shui, Rose B. Simpson

Conversational Spirits



Jessica Silverman is pleased to present “Conversational Spirits,” a two-part summer group show, featuring work that explores “animism,” the belief that animals, plants, places and objects are imbued with spirits. Animism is a relevant analogy for the agency, intensity and energy embodied by great art. When the trees whisper and birds sing, when abstraction breathes, when a painted portrait questions your sense of self, spirits are not far away.

 
Current Exhibition

Sadie Barnette

Inheritance



November 20, 2021 - January 8, 2022
Jessica Silverman is pleased to announce "Sadie Barnette: Inheritance," the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from November 20, 2021 to January 8, 2022. This new body of work uses installation, sculpture, photography, wallpaper and large-scale drawing to examine the artist’s familial legacy. Employing archival material–such as the 500-page dossier compiled by the FBI surveilling her father, Rodney Barnette, during his time in the Black Panther Party–the artist wields the personal nature of generational inheritance to inflect international political struggle with urgency, collapsing temporal distinctions of past and present. The solo presentation at the gallery runs simultaneously with the two-venue exhibition, Sadie Barnette: Legacy and Legend, at Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College and Pitzer College Art Galleries, on view until December 18, 2021. It also coincides with the announcement of Barnette's commission by Los Angeles International Airport and the L.A. Department of Cultural Affairs to design a permanent site-specific artwork for a new plaza to be completed in 2024, which will display the message "Sister You Are Welcome Here" in brightly colored terrazzo lettering. Upon entering the exhibition, the initial site-line wall of the gallery is a sculptural depiction of The New Eagle Creek Saloon, founded by Barnette’s father in the early 1990s as the first black-owned gay bar in San Francisco. The work is adorned with neon lights, and a photograph of Sammy, a beloved patron and guest bartender, floats in a field of pink glitter. High-femme aesthetics permeate the works throughout the show; signifiers such as the color pink and glitter are used to re-invigorate archival material, escaping a binary vision of gender and sexuality while celebrating the extant legacy and ongoing resistance of the Black radical tradition. The exhibition also continues Barnette’s FBI Drawings series, examining the FBI’s targeting of her father’s involvement in the Black Panther Party when he founded the Compton chapter in California in 1968. This series takes scans of her father’s FBI file and re-engineers individual pages, enlarging them to five by four feet and overlaying them with exuberant, playful symbols such as flowers and the character Hello Kitty to denigrate modes of empire, surveillance and power. Here, Barnette’s practice throws the bracketing of a collective political past into crisis, shining a light on continued racial injustice. The slow, labor-intensive act of making these drawings gives Barnette the time to meditate on the bravery, politics, and the real lives of people who dared to change the world. Barnette’s activation of everyday objects such as speakers, couches and domestic interiors reveals their socio-political essence. In Home Good the artist references the showy paint jobs of Bay Area car culture from her upbringing. Barnette uses these cars as source material to conceptually address the generative act of creating something grand and monolithic out of something ordinary. Similarly, the exhibition depicts a couch covered in holographic vinyl against a wallpaper that repeats the word “sister” in a patterned, geometric form. This repetition simultaneously creates a domestic space of care while multiplying revolutionary acts and familial protection beyond any spatial limitations. Though the artist’s personal history and experiences are directly referenced, the political concepts of the works shimmer and leap beyond geography, time and space. Sadie Barnette (b. 1984, Oakland, CA) has a BFA from CalArts and an MFA from University of California, San Diego. She has been awarded grants and residencies by the Studio Museum in Harlem, Artadia, Art Matters, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Camargo Foundation in France. She has enjoyed solo shows in the following public institutions: ICA Los Angeles, CA; The Lab and the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco, CA; MCA San Diego, CA; Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford College, PA; and the Manetti Shrem Museum, UC Davis, CA. Her work is in the permanent collections of: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Pérez Art Museum, Miami, FL; Guggenheim Museum, NY; JP Morgan Chase Collection; Blanton Museum at UT Austin, TX; Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Orlando, FL; San José Museum of Art, CA; Oakland Museum of California, CA; and the Berkeley Art Museum, CA. Barnette lives and works in Oakland, CA.

 
Past Exhibitions

Woody De Othello

Looking In



October 2, 2021 - November 13, 2021
Jessica Silverman is delighted to present Woody De Othello's "Looking In," an exhibition of new works comprised of paintings on canvas and paper, ceramic sculptures, and a large-scale outdoor bronze. On view from October 2 to November 13, the exhibition is the artist's second at the gallery. It explores still life as social commentary and psychological inquiry. A bright orange, ten-foot-high bronze sculpture stands in the center of the show. Titled Fountain, it consists of two column-like pipes punctuated by three knobs and three faucet heads. The graceful arc of the tallest tap culminates in a single drop of water. “Moving from the rising tides of the Florida tropics to drought-ridden California, the environment is always on my mind,” said Othello. “Among other concepts, Fountain is about abundance, scarcity, access and denial.” An inversion of Duchamp's 1917 Fountain, Othello's 2021 Fountain symbolically offers clean, life-sustaining drinking water. The large bronze is in a sea of ceramic sculptures depicting mirrors, clocks and watches on stools and chairs, hanging lights, light switches, and oversized coffee-mug planters. Bearing witness to the way Othello uses clay as a spontaneous and improvisational material, these forms could be the lyrics to the instrumental jazz music that is in heavy rotation in his studio. Six oil-on-canvas and four acrylic-on-paper paintings portray domestic spaces full of time pieces, plant life and windows to the outside world. Vibrantly rendered in primary and tertiary colors, the paintings play with natural and artificial light sources that speak to intellectual perspectives and emotional states. "Looking In" marks a new level of mastery in the artist's command of his forms and themes. Animistic, anthropomorphic, and deeply human, Othello's work evokes both pathos and humor, sensory pleasure and intellectual vigor.

Judy Chicago

Human Geometries



August 27, 2021 - September 25, 2021
Jessica Silverman is pleased to present “Human Geometries,” an exhibition of works created by Judy Chicago between 1965 and the present. The show features both monumental pieces and potent gems that explore gendered aesthetics, human rights and social justice. The centerpiece of the exhibition is Sunset Squares, a landmark in Feminist Minimalist sculpture, which consists of four structures in different sizes and subtle shades – pale pink, baby blue, lavender and mint. Framing and commenting on its surroundings, this quad of quads can be arranged and rearranged for maximum impact and interaction. Its freedom of movement, combined with its poly-chroma, challenges the rigid, dictatorial norms of much minimalist art. Conceived and created in 1965, but destroyed in the seventies, this outdoor rendition of Sunset Squares is made to original specifications in painted stainless steel. Rendered in clear and colored acrylics, Chicago’s “Dome” sculptures suggest bodily landscapes, bellies and chests, perhaps even an expectant mother in the bath. While the sculptures evoke sensual slumber, the artist’s drawings and paintings of spinning orbs, sometimes called “whirling donuts,” are infused with the electricity of female orgasm. Although Chicago is best-known for elevating and recognizing the lives of others (e.g. The Dinner Party, 1979), she has created a series of 140 raw, extempore drawings in watercolor and pencil on paper, laying out her innermost aspirations and insecurities. The unexpected intimacy of Autobiography of a Year (1993-94) invites empathy as the artist’s struggle for self-worth and self-soothing is familiar to us all. Cartoon for the Fall (1987) is an ambitious history painting, exploring power and powerlessness, gender and Jewish identity in civilizations past and present. Chicago and her husband Donald Woodman worked for eight years, pondering the horrific depths of the Holocaust. In 2021, a time of resurgent white supremacism, fascism, and anti-democratic dictatorships, their project is ever more relevant. The 18-foot-long canvas is meant to remind us of the necessity to work towards a more humane, peaceful and equitable world. Triangles loom large in Chicago’s oeuvre, taking on different meanings in different decades. Logo (1994) takes the form of concentric triangles of stained glass not only to honor Holocaust victims, but to create an icon of community survival. Here color represents the demographics targeted by the Nazis: yellow for Jews, pink for homosexuals, black for “anti-socials,” blue for immigrants, red for political prisoners, brown for gypsies, and green for criminals.

Sadie Barnette, Hernan Bas, Andrea Bowers, Luke Butler, Tammy Rae Carland, Judy Chicago, Conrad Egyir, Martha Friedman, Matthew Angelo Harrison, Julian Hoeber, John Houck, Kei Imazu, Isaac Julien, Matt Lipps, Cathy Lu, Dashiell Manley, Glendalys Medina, Rashaad Newsome, Woody De Othello, Maia Cruz Palileo, Hayal Pozanti, Clare Rojas, Hugh Scott-Douglas, Davina Semo, Coreen Simpson, Rose B. Simpson, Lam Tung Pang, Catherine Wagner, Nicole Wermers, Claudia Wieser, Margo Wolowiec.

We Are Here



May 28, 2021 - July 2, 2021
Jessica Silverman is pleased to announce the inaugural exhibition of its new space and location at 621 Grant Avenue in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Titled “We Are Here,” the group show features paintings, sculptures and photographs by 31 gallery artists and friends.

Isaac Julien

Isaac Julien's America



March 13, 2020 - June 12, 2020
Jessica Silverman Gallery is pleased to present “Isaac Julien’s America,” a solo show of new and historic works about the struggle for freedom and equality in a globalized world. The show is inspired by three pioneers: Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave, orator and the most photographed man of the nineteenth century; Matthew Henson, the African-American explorer who discovered the North Pole; and Angela Davis, the radical feminist and former Black Panther turned social justice activist.

Rose B. Simpson



October 29, 2019 - December 21, 2019

Matt Lipps

Where Figure Becomes Ground



September 12, 2019 - October 19, 2019

The Empathy Lab



July 11, 2019 - August 24, 2019

Conrad Egyir

Ameliorations



May 9, 2019 - June 22, 2019

Davina Semo



March 14, 2019 - May 4, 2019

Claudia Wieser

Forum



January 10, 2019 - March 2, 2019

Woody De Othello

Living Room



September 13, 2018 - October 27, 2018

Kinship



July 19, 2018 - August 31, 2018

B. Ingrid Olson & Robert Overby



June 7, 2018 - July 14, 2018

Autumn Ramsey & Eugene Von Bruenchenhein



June 7, 2018 - July 14, 2018

Aleksandra Domanović, Isaac Julien, Christina Quarles

Biomorphic Virtuosity



April 26, 2018 - June 2, 2018

Karel Funk



April 26, 2018 - June 2, 2018