Selected works by Erick Swenson

Erick Swenson


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


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.

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Alternative information on Erick Swenson
Alternative images and information on Erik Swenson - Erick Swenson at Angstrom by Charles Dee Mitchell
On an August night with temperatures still in the upper 80s, an overflow crowd at Erick Swenson's opening stood outside the gallery and picked snow from their hair and drinks. The snow was made of shredded plastic, but the effect was still eerily convincing and in keeping with the creepy, playful realism of Swenson's alpine exhibition titled "Obviously a Movie."
For Texas artist Erick Swenson’s West Coast debut, the Hammer will exhibit an untitled sculpture of a young deer scraping the tender velvet from his antlers onto a resin cast of a large Oriental carpet. Using digital technology to scan the original carpet and an inkjet billboard printer, Swenson has painted the design and color onto the polyurethane resin cast. The room-size installation offers us a haunting juxtaposition of object and creature, both displaced from their original identities and place
- Erick Swenson at James Cohan
Art in America, October 2004, by Edward Leffingwell
Erick Swenson: James Cohan Gallery
ArtForum, September 2004, by Meghan Dailey
Erick Swenson UCLA Hammer Museum 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood - Erick Swenson - About the Artist and Project
The room is dark. Spotlights fall on an oriental rug where a silent and unlikely struggle is taking place. Nuzzling its head against the Persian fibers (like one might expect a dog to) is a young buck. Its frame is frozen in time—fragile legs splayed and thin body taught with the effort of rubbing velvety fur off of its antlers.
Images of Erick Swenson works - Erick Swenson by Micah J. Malone
In natural history museums, animals are presented in highly controlled, cliché circumstances: bears stand on their hind legs, birds sit calmly on perches and dinosaurs are often the main attraction because of their freakish scale and the wonder that surrounds their extinction.
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.
Additional images and information.