Temple of Silence — Sam Friedman

Press Release

Temple of Silence — Sam Friedman

Library Street Collective is pleased to present a solo exhibition with New York-based artist Sam Friedman, titled Temple of Silence and opening on June 8, 2024. The immersive presentation will display four large-scale Cave Paintings that explore existential concepts of being through the meticulous repetition of line and color.

It's an intense world that humans have constructed within the greater earth. It can feel like an assault of overstimulation. Too loud, too much information, too many sounds, too many smells, too much visual clutter, too many people, too many demands, too many rules. In order to engage and interface with this world of man, a person often must create a version of themselves, consciously or subconsciously, that can navigate the obligations of life.

As is considered in this excerpt reflecting on the purpose and intent of Temple of Silence, the exhibition explores the necessity of constructing personas to navigate daily existence in a world inundated with sensory overload and constant demands. Friedman contends that humans are entirely too sensitive of beings to move through time and place unprotected mentally and emotionally and, thus, from the day we enter the world, we are taught to develop a sort of “armor” in piecemeal. While our innermost, vulnerable selves find the protection they are trained to seek, they simultaneously grow further and further isolated from their true source. For Friedman, it is through the acts of spending time in nature and painting—oftentimes engaging in the two synchronously—that he nurtures and reconnects with his humanness.

With Temple of Silence, Friedman aims to create a space for viewers to “realign with [their] natural pace”—a harmonious environment where the endless pressures of our constructed world can be temporarily diminished. As the artist explains, “I set out to create this experience as a gentle one, with the intention of every transitional relationship of color and form emerging out of itself to be smooth and consistent, while avoiding anything that has the potential to feel harsh or abrupt.” Complementing the impressive scale of each painting (which range from 9x9 feet to 25x9 feet), the fabrication of a fourth wall within the square gallery envelops the viewer in an all-encompassing sensory experience. Mountainous forms rise from the ground up, generating a palpable sense of gravity, while the seamless rhythm of patterned gradients guide the eye towards a seeming light source. The works uphold the sensation of being secure and grounded, yet soft and ever changing.

Influenced by his personal diagnosis with autism in recent years, Friedman challenges embedded expectations and societal norms surrounding individuality and neurodiversity. The paintings—labors of love produced as offerings to the world—celebrate and promote the notion that there is no singular definition of “being,” of processing, of communicating, of perceiving, but rather there are countless.

Sam Friedman: Temple of Silence is on view from June 8 - July 17, 2024 at Library Street Collective.