Images

Ena Swansea Locks Gallery

Purple Shadows, 2001
oil on canvas 
44 x 34 inches

Ena Swansea Locks Gallery

Fall, 2001
oil on linen
88 x 142 inches

Ena Swansea Locks Gallery

Bien, 2002
oil on canvas
36 x 24 inches

Ena Swansea Locks Gallery

Black and White Shadows, 2001
oil on canvas
34 x 44 inches

Ena Swansea Locks Gallery

After (Upstairs), 2001
oil on canvas
68 x 78 inches

Press Release

Locks Gallery will exhibit paintings by the New York artist Ena Swansea, in her first solo exhibition at the gallery.   The paintings, some as large as ten feet square, resemble shadows backlit upon illuminated screens.  Figures, foliage and text appear and disappear in these subtle and dreamlike works.  The ten paintings in the exhibition were all completed in the last three years.

Swansea begins each painting with a layered and brilliantly colored under-painting.  Upon this careful surface, the artist paints with increasing freedom, finishing with abstract touches and fluid brush strokes that enhance the movement and depth within.  In the end, the paintings appear almost monochromatic, some virtually white, but upon closer inspection they vibrate with color.

Swansea’s paintings share Willem de Kooning’s virtuoso, quick brushwork and Jackson Pollock’s grand expansiveness.  But the frenetic energy of those painters’ work is replaced with quietness and spaciousness in Swansea’s.  Looking at one of her paintings is like cloud gazing as flowers and faces almost come into focus.

Ena Swansea was born and raised in North Carolina.  She has shown extensively in New York, including solo exhibitions at the Robert Miller Gallery. This exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog with an essay by critic Carter Ratcliff.