Tuesday, February 27 / 330-430pm
ART Building room 308
This event is held in conjunction with the Honolulu Museum of Art presenting Swenson’s first museum survey.
Abstruction: The Sculpture of Erick Swenson
March 1 – July 29, 2018
Known for his remarkably lifelike and labor-intensive sculptures of animals created from cast urethane resin, his work has been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; and UCLA/Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles.
Swenson’s sculptures often feature creatures in death or distress—such as a fawn being carried away by a large red cape, or a decomposing deer carcass. Other figures, while retaining a strongly individual sensibility, are displayed as hunting trophies or scientific specimens. The unique character of his creations, along with a meticulous attention to detail, even of less appealing organisms, such as a cluster of snails, evokes a reverence for these beings and their situations. These sculptures capture not only the tragedy, but the delicate and complex beauty of nature.
The underlying strength of the work lies in its ability to affect us visually and emotionally on multiple levels. We wonder how the artist constructed these pieces, feel for the creatures in distress, and are made uncomfortable by the stark reality of snails or decomposing flesh. At the same time the work celebrates the unique individuality that exists in nature, and encourages the viewer to appreciate this life while we have it.
-Katherine Love, Assistant Curator, Contemporary Art, Honolulu Museum of Art