Ian Swanson’s work spans painting, sculpture, audio and installation; working in territory where the slippage between representation and the ineffable brings figuration and abstraction into vivid conversation. His works illicit a sense of depersonalization, a human image disappearing into surface, objects disobeying clarity. A thought space, elegantly damaged but unpretentious, obfuscated by puzzlement and rumination. There are delays and echoes, passages of time one needs to reflect upon and what surface they must scan to find entry. Hovering between brutality and sweetness; fantasy and reality – his works illustrate a universal spirit of the tensions implicit in darkness and light, life and death.
Ian Swanson (b. 1983, Detroit, MI) received a BFA from Wayne State University in 2007, and an MFA from Pratt Institute in 2013. Most recently, his work has been the subject of solo and two-person presentations at Catbox Contemporary, Ridgewood, NY (2020); ASHES/ASHES, New York and Los Angeles (2019 and 2016); Hot Wheels Projects, Athens (2019); MX Gallery, New York (2018); As it Stands, Los Angeles (2017); Jack Barret Gallery, New York (2017); and Simone DeSousa Gallery, Detroit (2016). Swanson has participated in notable group exhibitions, including Chernobyl Papers, Pripyat, UA, and online (2020); Dark Mode, ASHES/ASHES, New York (2019); and Peekskill Project V, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY (2012). In 2022, a review of Swanson’s work appeared in the anthology Human Rights, published by Amphetamine Sulphate. His work has been featured in numerous publications, including i-D, Art Viewer, Coeval, and New American Paintings. Swanson currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.