An Outsider’s Eye: Gallery One • In-Person and Online

18 April - 18 May 2024

Discoveries from Bruce Silverstein Gallery, Curated by Frank Maresca


Every art exhibition tells a story, one outlined by the curator's choices and enriched over time by the viewers. In this case, the initial premise is elegantly simple and stated in the title itself, but the true beginning is found in life, not in art; in the lifelong relationship between two people whose personal histories and visual sensibilities led them on distinct yet intersecting paths.


Frank Maresca and Bruce Silverstein have been in each other's orbit for more than 50 years. Between the late 1960s through the early 2000s Frank (whose first career was in fashion and beauty advertising photography) shared a working studio space with Bruce's parents, the photographer Larry Silver and his wife and representative Gloria. Now gallery neighbors on the same floor, still friends after all these years, Frank and Bruce maintain an ongoing dialog that led to this exhibition. Their taste is sometimes different, but they are both drawn to the concept of crossover-between self-taught and mainstream art or as a dialogue across art forms-and interested in finding lesser-known precursors to widely embraced trends. As art dealers who were collectors first, they lead with intuition and instinct.


Both Ricco/Maresca and Bruce Silverstein Gallery chose to focus on developing fields that are constantly in flux. It's now widely recognized that the emergence of art brut and self-taught art stemmed from the avant-garde movements of the first half of the 20th century, which in their uprising turned the attention to forms of creativity that were not bound by the stronghold of the academy. Photography, then an emerging art form, became an integral part of this experimental ethos. In the last few decades, both non-academic art and photography, have had to wage the battle of being fully recognized as fine art, not its odd cousins, and find their place in significant collections and museums.


An Outsider's Eye features more than 20 artists, including Karl Blossfeldt, Edward Weston, Man Ray, André Kertész, Dorothea Lange, Paul Outerbridge, Lisette Model, Walker Evans, Aaron Siskind, Bill Cunningham, and Francesca Woodman, among others. Works by these artists, discovered anew in the context of this exhibition, bring Frank and Bruce's intertwined journeys full circle. Frank's selection explores a wide range of themes and styles, encompassing the human figure and still life, as well as documentary photography and abstraction. His aim was to juxtapose raw vs. elegant elements: the unembellished beauty of anonymous snapshots he collected over many years with the flawless compositions of masters, which he sought to emulate in his own photographic work. This exhibition also unites Frank and Bruce's enduring awareness of works of art not solely as images or forms, but as tangible objects whose surface and patina bear the marks of their journey through time.