Selected works by Erick Swenson

Erick Swenson
Untitled

2004

Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene

59.7 x 701 x 442 cm
Erick Swenson’s installations create scenes of haunting perfection. Inspired by museum exhibits, set design, film special effects, and model making, Swenson crafts every minute detail of his tableaux, creating simulated, highly romantic scenes of that often exceed the ideals of nature. Spanning more than 7 meters, Swenson’s Untitled is a sub-zero oasis of mythical blizzard. Styrofoam snow and polyurethane ice engulf expertly moulded cobblestones, fabricating a spectacle of wintery Bavariana fairytale. Within the gathering drifts, a fallen deer strains against death in a sublime allegorical moment.
Erick Swenson
Ne Plus Ultra

2005



30.5 x 40.6 x 35.6 cm
Erick Swenson’s Ne Plus Ultra poses the decaying skull of a deer as a cryptic relic. Swenson captures every uncomfortable detail: white flesh peeled, exposing raw tissue and weathered bone. Cast in resin, Swenson’s sculpture doesn’t exude the expected revulsion of gore, but rather a beatific reverence. In its serene otherworldly aura Swenson’s perished beast evokes a more horrific haunting as a torn cheek reveals a row of carnivorous teeth, and flayed brow appears embossed with mysterious scrimshaw. Through attenuate craftsmanship, Swenson merges ideas of the romantic sublime with chilling surrealism, creating an object suggestive of dark fiction.

Articles

erick swenson

By Charles Dee Mitchell

When I look at notes I've taken on Erick Swenson’s sculptures, I see that I constantly refer to them as something-like. I have notes on creatures that are apelike, sheeplike, and weasel-like. Cast in polyurethane resin and more or less life size, they are sometimes very much like these animals. But the apes wear mountain-climbing gear, the weasel sports a Fair Isle sweater, and there seems to be something off about the sheep’s legs.

There is also often a disturbing amount of attention paid to their tiny, very even teeth. If you discount their pristine hairlessness, the young deer Swenson has created over the last two years would possibly pass muster in a natural history diorama, except that in nature fawns don't wear leather chokers around their necks and hind legs. These recent deer, however, are certainly more naturalistic than Edgar (1998). Part horse and part poodle, he was a pitiable and laughable creature who nevertheless, posed atop a snowy crag, maintained a beleaguered dignity. He struck me as Edwin-Landseer’s-Monarch-of-the-Glen-like.

The high level of consciousness and adaptational skills displayed by Swenson’s creations suggests an alternative evolutionary path that has placed them, or perhaps stranded them, in a humanlike position in their world. All we see of EB (2002) is his simian head, which is white and aged, with wrinkles around the eyes and on his cheeks. He is hairless and white, but his red eyes suggest world-weariness rather than albinism. As a sculpture, EB has the sagacious presence of an ancient bust of a Roman senator.

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Source: hammer.ucla.edu


erick swenson


Q.E.D., a new space in Los Angeles for the exhibition of contemporary art, is a collaboration between David Quadrini of Angstrom Gallery in Dallas and Elizabeth Dee of Elizabeth Dee Gallery in New York. Q.E.D. is pleased to announce its inaugural exhibition by Erick Swenson at 2622 South La Cienega Boulevard. A reception for the artist will be held on Saturday, May 28, from 6 to 8 pm.

Erick Swenson creates uncanny sculptural tableaux that feature strangely mutated animals in circumstances fraught with pathos. His untitled piece seen at the Hammer Museum in 2003 and at the Whitney Biennial the following year portrayed a young, hairless, and ethereally white deer rubbing the velvet from his antlers on a large Persian carpet. Both deer and carpet were cast in the same polyurethane resin and then painted and finished with a high degree of verisimilitude.

In the work exhibited at Q.E.D., a large white plinth melts into a scene of snowy slush covering a pavement of Belgian blocks. A white deer, perhaps the same one, slightly older with a larger rack, sprawls on the ground. His head weighed down by the icicles that have grown from his antlers, one hind leg raised and bearing more icicles, he appears to have frozen to the pavement at the same time he melts into the snow. His eyes remain open, however, conscious of his plight.

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Source: gedgallery.com