Karen Silve

Headshot Karen Silve <!  Biography  >


Karen Silve developed an interest in Post-Impressionist and Fauvist painting, and they informed her early figurative abstractions. She studied in the graduate painting and design programs at the University of Denver, creating abstract work that was inspired by the landscape and by the color lessons she learned in France. Later, the Abstract Expressionist painters Willem de Kooning and Joan Mitchell, and the German artist Gerhard Richter became important influences on her work.

In 1993, Silve moved to Portland, Oregon, worked in graphic design and began to explore painterly process in a series of meditative paintings. In the late 1990s, she created two extended groups of paintings, first the Musician Series, and then the Cellist Series. Both series focused on players with their instrument, and on a feeling for music expressed through abstracting the human figure, gestural brush strokes and vibrant color. After this she moved on to rhythmic, calligraphic brush strokes and drips of paint. Evolving from this period is the ongoing series of abstract paintings that Silve continues to create.

Silve has exhibited her work extensively in solo exhibitions including at the Portland Performing Arts Center, the Forsyth Center Gallery at Texas A&M University, the Visual Art Center of Northwest Florida, the Tuscaloosa Performing Arts Center and the West Linn Public Library in Oregon. Group exhibitions include those at The Institute for American Universities, Aix-in-Provence, France, the Jemison-Carnegie Heritage Hall, Talledega AL, and the Art in Embassies Program, Doha, Qatar. She currently maintains studios both in Portland and in the south of France.



Year in Review – 2017, Susan Calloway Fine Arts, Washington DC


Major Works – Large Paintings from the Annex, Susan Calloway Fine Arts, Washington DC
Women Painters, Madison Gallery, La Jolla, CA


Karen Silve – Contemporary Abstractions from the Pacific Northwest, Knight Webb Gallery, London
Karen Silve – Memories: The In-Between, Susan Calloway Fine Art, Washington DC


The AAF, London with Mark Jason Gallery, and New York with Portland Fine Art
DC Design House 2014, Washington DC


K Silve: Found Meditations, Susan Callaway Fine Arts, Washington DC
Sketches of Time, Abstract Expressonism Now, Knight Webb Gallery, London
A Gift of Art, Hubert Gallery, New York, NY
The AAF, Hong Kong and Singapore, Mark Jason Gallery, London


K Silve: Synaesthetic Impressions, Susan Callaway Fine Arts, Washington DC
Abstract – Group Exhibition, Gallery KH, Chicago, IL
The AAF, New York City (2010, 2011 and 2012) – Portland Fine Art, Portland OR


Synaesthetic Impressions – K Silve, Texas A&M University, MSC Forsyth Center Gallery
Within Nature, K Silve, Visual Art Center of Northwest Florida
K Silve, Gallery KH, Chicago, IL
Art in Embassies, Doha, Qatar (2009-2011)
Art Hamptons, Bridgehampton, NY , Turner Barnes Gallery


K Silve, West Linn Public Library, West Linn, OR
28th Annual Visual Art Showcase Exhibition, Beaverton Public Library, Beaverton, OR
Art for Life, Oregon Convention Center, Portland, OR
(2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010)


First Thursday, Thursday’s Art Gallery, Portland, OR
Group Exhibition, Heidi McBride Gallery, Portland, OR
Holiday Show, Anka Gallery, Portland, OR


Portland Art Open, Open Studio, Portland, OR


K Silve, Hunter Kirkland Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
Karen Silve, New Works, Lawrence Gallery, Salishan, OR
Holiday Exhibition, Hunter Kirkland Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM
Something Red, Artists in Action Juried Exhibition, Historic District – Salem, OR
Lake Oswego Chronicle Invitational – Lake Oswego, OR


A New Look at the Cellist, Lawrence Gallery – Portland, OR
The Art of Music, Mills Pond House Gallery, NY
Lancaster County Art Association Art Exhibition – PA
Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts – Lake Oswego, OR


Karen Silve – Exhibition at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts – OR
Karen Silve – New Works – Lawrence Gallery – Portland, OR


New Works Inspired by Music – Lawrence Gallery – Portland, OR
Karen Silve – Gallery Oscar – Sun Valley, ID


Les Violoncellistes – La Maure – Provence, France
Les Violoncellistes – Roche Bobois – Portland, OR
Street of Dreams – Portland, OR
Parade of Homes – Vancouver, WA
Fresh Paint – Belinki & Duprey Art Gallery – Portland, OR


Musician Series – Belinki & Duprey Art Gallery – Portland, OR
Musicians – The Blue Monk – Portland, OR


The Institute for American Universities Leo Marchutze Gallery – Aix-en-Provence, France


Juried Art Show – Jemison-Carnegie Heritage Hall – Talladega, AL
New Works – Tuscaloosa Performing Art Center – Tuscaloosa, AL



Artist Residency, Texas A&M University
Professional Development Grant, Regional Arts and Culture Council


Third Place, Juried Art Exhibition, Historic District – Salem, OR


Best in Show, Jemison-Carnegie Heritage Hall – Talledega, AL


Scholarship, University of Denver


Scholarship, University of Alabama


Scholarship, Shelton State Community College