David Silverberg’s story is as colorful as his prints. After studying at McGill University in Montreal to become a geophysicist, Silverberg chose to pursue a career as an artist instead.
As a youth he had taken art classes with Arthur Lismer and had won an art scholarship. In 1958 he went to Paris to further his studies in art. At Atelier 17, the studio run by the innovative British printmaker, William Stanley Hayter, Silverberg was part of a vibrant and experimentally-minded artistic community, including Max Ernst and Marc Chagall.
On his return to Montreal, Silverberg’s career was launched in, what he describes as a fortuitous way. In 1960 his work was shown at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts at the same time that an exhibition of Arthur Lismer’s work was attracting a great deal of attention. The audience that had come to see Lismer’s work saw, in passing, the work of a relatively unknown printmaker. The phenomenon of a printmaking exhibition was in itself unusual, but the style and technique of the artist made an even bigger impression. Silverberg soon started to develop a unique, personal style to produce beautiful engravings.
He quickly established a reputation as a printmaker ‘par excellence’ winning acclaim in centres such as Lyon, Philadelphia and Toronto. His delicate, highly detailed coloured engravings revive the classic ‘burin’ technique which dates back to the 1400’s. His recurring images including lovers and animals, women and birds, dancers and butterflies, music and exotic locales are natural extensions of his ‘joie de vivre’ and are united by their celebration of life.
Silverberg’s passion for art and travel is legendary. He has voyaged around the world, visiting and/or living in almost 80 countries. His critically acclaimed work has been the subject of over 200 exhibits in North America and abroad. In 1991 and 1992 he was invited by the Chinese government to travel, work, teach and exhibit throughout China.
In 1994, Silverberg was appointed a member of the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA) and in 1986 was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, London, England.
Thousands of students have also benefited from Silverberg’s expertise. For 32 years, he shared his insight and talents with Mount Allison University faculty and students. He was artist in residence at Acadia University from 1995 – 2000.
He and his wife Yvette reside in Wolfville, NS, where he maintains his studio.