Silas Kopf is widely regarded as one of the finest marquetry artists working today. In the marquetry technique, small, flat, thin (1/32 inch) pieces of wood of various hues are laid down on a surface to create an image, an illusion of three dimensions or “a painting in wood.” The theme of this bench is the arts themselves, with four images on the backrests representing architecture, sculpture, photography, and painting. The panel representing painting shows the arms and hands of an artist, the right one holding a palette and the left one painting a portrait. The artist has so skillfully placed and finished the wood that it can, however briefly, fool the viewer into seeing it as a painted or printed image. The artist took the ruse to another level, for the likeness being painted is his own.
White ash with marquetry of various woods
35¾ x 40 x 45 5/8 inches
Commission made possible by the Berkshire Taconic Foundation and the Judith Plesser Targan, class of 1953, Fund