The Art of Details for A Gallery Exhibit

"Schrodinger's Math: Observe + Decide" (2-person exhibit) runs April 24 - June 21, 2014 at the Esperson Gallery with abstract photography by Steven Silverstein.

As the renowned modernist architect Mies Van Der Rohe once said, "God is in the details," a concept that can easily be applied when preparing for a gallery exhibit. For the Schrodinger's Math exhibit, Silverstein worked on prints with his master print-maker, using museum-quality pigment inks transferred to archival rag paper. Essentially what the viewer sees in the exhibit print is as close as possible to what Silverstein has created in his camera, and the printing process is a lengthy one, with rounds of proofs.

  Tangerine Dream (2014) , 20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm), abstract photographic work on rag paper by Steven Silverstein, installation view at the Esperson Gallery.

Tangerine Dream (2014), 20 x 30 inches (50.8 x 76.2 cm), abstract photographic work on rag paper by Steven Silverstein, installation view at the Esperson Gallery.

After he signed off on the final proofs, the actual printing began. Care was taken to ensure the pigments adhered correctly to the rag paper. If pigment splattered, applied unevenly, or the print was damaged in any way, it was destroyed. Once fully dried, the edges of each piece were hand-torn, the printer "chopped" his identification mark onto a bottom corner, and Silverstein signed, dated and numbered each artwork.

  Right On  (2014), 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm) by abstract photographer Steven Silverstein, before the border edges were hand-torn.

Right On (2014), 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm) by abstract photographer Steven Silverstein, before the border edges were hand-torn.

Next, the works were carefully transported to the framer's shop. For this exhibit, Silverstein decided on black wood frames because they are traditionally used in photographic installations. Since his abstractions have a painterly quality to them by using these frames, he intentionally reminded the viewer that the works are, in fact, photographs. To ensure a long lifespan, archival acid-free materials and UV-coated glass were used to protect them.

And finally... at last, the artwork was wrapped in protective materials and custom-boxed for their journey from Los Angeles to the art gallery, for the installation's opening night.

View more of this and other installations →

 Street view of Steven Silverstein's installation at the Esperson Gallery.  Black Queen  (2014), rag paper, 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm).

Street view of Steven Silverstein's installation at the Esperson Gallery. Black Queen (2014), rag paper, 60 x 40 inches (152.4 x 101.6 cm).