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Texas-based artist Erick Swenson creates sculptures of striking verisimilitude, depicting hybrid animals that feel strangely familiar yet foreign.  Rendered with a naturalist’s sensitivity and incredible precision, the works often present fantastical vignettes of animals ensnared in strange, sometimes devastating circumstances, or quietly poetic scenes that evoke the beauty and tragedy of nature, and by extension of our own human condition.  Executed through old master’s studio techniques and often shocking in their realism and remarkable detail, the works take months, sometimes years, for the artist to fabricate, making new work by Swenson incredibly rare. 

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Artist Talk/Lecture
Erick Swenson speaks at SMU’s Meadows Museum
Artist Talk
October 18, 2013 at 12:15pm
Dallas, TX
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Podcasts
Erick Swenson on his Nasher Sculpture Center solo
Swenson in conversation with Jerome Weeks
April 25, 2012
Dallas, TX
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Museum Exhibition
Erick Swenson at the Nasher Sculpture Center
Solo Exhibition
April 14 - September 9, 2012
Dallas, Tx
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Podcasts
Erick Swenson for T Magazine
Custom Playlist for T Magazine’s The Jam
July 29, 2011
ArtworksThumbnails
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ERICK SWENSON Schwärmerei, 2012 Acrylic on resin, silicone, MDF on bespoke base 53 x 24 x 24 in.
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ERICK SWENSON Schwärmerei (detail), 2012 Acrylic on resin, silicone, MDF on bespoke base 53 x 24 x 24 in.
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ERICK SWENSON Schwärmerei, 2012 Acrylic and oil on urethane resin and silicone on bespoke base 45 1/2 x 16 x 16 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Schwärmerei (detail), 2012 Acrylic and oil on urethane resin and silicone on bespoke base 45 1/2 x 16 x 16 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Scuttle, 2012 Acrylic and oil on urethane resin 4 1/2 x 7 x 4 1/2 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Scuttle, 2012 Acrylic and oil on urethane resin 4 1/2 x 7 x 4 1/2 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Ne Plus Ultra, 2010 Resin, MDF and acrylic paint Overall: 17 X 72 X 54 inches Deer: Approximately 12 X 48 X 40 inches Plinth: 5 x 72 x 54 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Ne Plus Ultra, 2010 (detail) Resin, MDF and acrylic paint Overall: 17 X 72 X 54 inches Deer: Approximately 12 X 48 X 40 inches Plinth: 5 x 72 x 54 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Ne Plus Ultra, 2010 (detail) Resin, MDF and acrylic paint Overall: 17 X 72 X 54 inches Deer: Approximately 12 X 48 X 40 inches Plinth: 5 x 72 x 54 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Ne Plus Ultra, 2010 (detail) Resin, MDF and acrylic paint Overall: 17 X 72 X 54 inches Deer: Approximately 12 X 48 X 40 inches Plinth: 5 x 72 x 54 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Ne Plus Ultra, 2010 (detail) Resin, MDF and acrylic paint Overall: 17 X 72 X 54 inches Deer: Approximately 12 X 48 X 40 inches Plinth: 5 x 72 x 54 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Ne Plus Ultra, 2010 (detail) Resin, MDF and acrylic paint Overall: 17 X 72 X 54 inches Deer: Approximately 12 X 48 X 40 inches Plinth: 5 x 72 x 54 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2009 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF board, steel 22 X 18 X 15 inches Edition of 6
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2008 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 86 1/2 X 72 X 72 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2008 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 86 1/2 X 72 X 72 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2007 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 30 X 181 X 280 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2007 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 30 X 181 X 280 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2007 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 30 X 181 X 280 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2007 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 30 X 181 X 280 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Ebie White, 2007 plastic resin 16 X 6 X 8 inches Edition of 10
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ERICK SWENSON Ebie White, 2007 plastic resin 16 X 6 X 8 inches Edition of 10
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2007 Photogravure print 17 1/2 X 13 1/2 inches Edition of 20
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Erick Swenson Ne Plus Ultra, 2005 Resin, MDF 12 1/4 X 16 X 14 3/4 inches Edition of 5
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Erick Swenson Ne Plus Ultra [detail], 2005 Resin, MDF 12 1/4 X 16 X 14 3/4 inches Edition of 5
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2004 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF board, steel 18 1/2 X 18 1/2 X 11 inches Edition of 3
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2004 Polyurethane resin, painting, MDF board 18 1/2 X 18 1/2 X 11 inches Edition of 4
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2004 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 276 X 173 1/4 X 23 1/2 inches Edition of 3 Photo: Larry Lamay
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled [detail], 2004 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 276 X 173 1/4 X 23 1/2 inches Edition of 3 Photo: Larry Lamay
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled [detail], 2004 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 276 X 173 1/4 X 23 1/2 inches Edition of 3 Photo: Larry Lamay
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled [detail], 2004 Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene 276 X 173 1/4 X 23 1/2 inches Edition of 3 Photo: Larry Lamay
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2003 Plastic, fiberglass, steel, flocking, acrylic and oil paint 91 X 43 X 49 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2001 Polyurethane resin, oil and acrylic paint 132 X 84 X 26 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2001 Polyurethane resin, oil and acrylic paint 132 X 84 X 26 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Untitled, 2001 Polyurethane resin, oil and acrylic paint 132 X 84 X 26 inches
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ERICK SWENSON Muncie Head, 2001 Plastic and acrylic paint 14 X 10 1/2 X 10 inches Edition of 7
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ERICK SWENSON Muncie Head, 2001 Plastic and acrylic paint 14 X 10 1/2 X 10 inches Edition of 3
Artist BioDownload Bio English PDF
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ERICK SWENSON, Schwärmerei, 2012, Acrylic on resin, silicone, MDF on bespoke base, 53 x 24 x 24 inches.

 

Erick Swenson creates sculptures of striking verisimilitude, depicting hybrid animals that feel strangely familiar yet foreign.  Rendered with a naturalist’s sensitivity and incredible precision, the works often present fantastical vignettes of animals ensnared in strange, sometimes devastating circumstances, or quietly poetic scenes that evoke the beauty and tragedy of nature, and by extension of our own human condition.  Executed through old master’s studio techniques and often shocking in their realism and remarkable detail, the works take months, sometimes years, for the artist to fabricate, making new work by Swenson incredibly rare. 

 

Swenson’s works investigate the tension between the wild and the tamed, the innate and the cultivated, while highlighting the perversity of culture’s attempts to control natural instincts.  As Felicia Feaster states in the March/April 2010 issue of Art Papers, “Swenson may be the Cormac McCarthy of sculptors, with the ultimate isolating event—death—very much on his mind…Swenson’s work manipulates our feeling of helpless despair by asking us to bear witness.  The cold silence of his alabaster surfaces and the sense that we are the sole witnesses to these creatures’ death render the solitude and subjective experience of death.  While death may be the most ubiquitous of events, it remains the most singular for its victim.” 

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ERICK SWENSON, Untitled [detail], 2004, Polyurethane resin, acrylic paint, MDF, polystyrene, 276 X 173 1/4 X 23 1/2 inches, Edition of 3, Photo: Larry Lamay.

Erick Swenson was born in 1972 in Phoenixville, PA and earned his BFA from the School of Visual Arts at The University of North Texas in Denton.  Swenson was featured in the 2001 New Orleans Triennial, the 2004 Whitney Biennial and in Charles Saatchi’s famed USA Today exhibition in London in 2006.  His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah and Atlanta; The Hammer Museum at UCLA, Los Angeles; and Museum Villa Stuck, Munich; as well as featured in group exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, China; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ and the Arlington Museum of Art, TX.

 

Swenson’s work is included in several prestigious permanent collections, including the Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Saatchi Collection, London, United Kingdom; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery at The University of Nebraska, Lincoln; The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.  Erick Swenson lives and works in Dallas, TX.

Exhibitions
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Gallery Exhibition
Cabinets of Curiosity
May 06 - June 01, 2011
New York
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Gallery Exhibition
Erick Swenson
A Selection of Works
April 01 - May 01, 2010
New York
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Gallery Exhibition
Young Americans
美国青年 Trenton Doyle Hancock, Erick Swenson, and Alison Elizabeth Taylor
September 11 - November 15, 2009
Shanghai
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Gallery Exhibition
Summer Show
July 17 - August 10, 2007
New York
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Gallery Exhibition
Erick Swenson
May 22 - June 30, 2007
New York
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Gallery Exhibition
Erick Swenson
April 3 - May 1, 2004
New York
Press / Media
Articles / Reviews
D Magazine
"The Labor of the Idea" by Peter Simek
Articles / Reviews
Art and Seek
"Death and Poetry in Plastic: Erick Swenson at the Nasher" by Jerome Weeks
Articles / Reviews
The Dallas Morning News
“Erick Swenson’s Animal Re-Creations Make a Lasting Statement at the Nasher” by Michael Glanberry
Articles / Reviews
Dallas Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Sculptor Erick Swenson's shell games" by Gaile Robinson
Articles / Reviews
The Dallas Morning News
"Sightings: Erick Swenson" by Rob Brinkley
Articles / Reviews
Art Papers
"Erick Swenson" by Felicia Feaster
Articles / Reviews
Savannah Morning News
"Art and Soul: (Un)Natural history," by Allison Hersh
Articles / Reviews
The New York Times
"Erick Swenson," by Bridget Goodbody
Articles / Reviews
Art Prostitute
"Interview with Erick Swenson," by Brian Gibb
Articles / Reviews
Art in America
"Erick Swenson, " by Edward Leffingwell
Articles / Reviews
Artforum
"Erick Swenson: James Cohan Gallery," by Meghan Dailey
Articles / Reviews
The Los Angeles Times
"Erick Swenson at UCLA Hammer Museum," by Christopher Knight
News
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Artist Talk/Lecture
Artist Talk
October 18, 2013 at 12:15pm
Dallas, TX
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Podcasts
Swenson in conversation with Jerome Weeks
April 25, 2012
Dallas, TX
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Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
April 14 - September 9, 2012
Dallas, Tx
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Podcasts
Custom Playlist for T Magazine’s The Jam
July 29, 2011
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Artist Talk/Lecture
Inaugural Visiting Artist Lecture
September 21, 2007
St. Louis, MO
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Museum Exhibition
Solo Exhibition
January 26 - May 4, 2003
Los Angeles, CA
Editions
image ERICK SWENSON: Untitled
Edition
ERICK SWENSON: Untitled
Photogravure print