Ena Swansea Fugitive Scenes

Oct 18 - Nov 23, 2013

Ena Swansea, oranges

oranges, 2013, oil on graphite on linen, 66 x 68 inches

Ena Swansea, snow at night

snow at night, 2013, oil on graphite on linen, 96 x 72 inches

Ena Swansea, strawberry

strawberry, 2013, oil on graphite on linen, 36 x 60 inches

Ena Swansea, teenagers

teenagers, 2013, oil on graphite on linen, 72 x 48 inches

Ena Swansea, view from the Roth Bar

view from the Roth Bar, 2013, oil on graphite on linen, 72 x 90 inches

Ena Swansea, 14th St pile field 3

14th St pile field 3, 2013, oil on graphite on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

Ena Swansea, 14th St pile field 4

14th St pile field 4, 2013, oil on graphite on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

Ena Swansea, 14th St pile field 5

14th St pile field 5, 2013, oil on graphite on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

Ena Swansea, Flatiron Building

Flatiron Building, 2013, oil on graphite on wood panel, 24 x 18 inches

press release

Locks Gallery is pleased to present Fugitive Scenes, a new series of paintings by New York artist Ena Swansea. The exhibition will be on view October 18th through November 23rd, 2013. There will be a reception for the artist on November 1st, from 5:30–7:30 pm. A fully illustrated catalog, with an essay by critic and author Gregory Volk, will accompany the exhibit.

The paintings in Fugitive Scenes are diverse, ranging in scale from small panels to a monumental 8-foot square canvas. Swansea moves fluidly between figurative subjects and landscape scenes while experimenting with unusual figure-ground relationships. In this painterly space, figures emerge from the dark graphite ground as if floating and a dynamic interchange between negative and positive space transpires in the landscapes. The charged atmosphere of the work stems from the artist’s study of silhouetted forms and the effects of light on the surfaces of water, snow, and skin.

From Madison Square Park, to Central Park and the Hudson River Piers, Swansea creates ephemeral and cinematic perspectives of seemingly mundane moments in her surroundings. As Volk writes, “What Swansea’s paintings definitely communicate are heightened psychological (and emotional) states involving an admixture of agitation and repose, amazement and foreboding, beatific bliss and outright fear. Another important characteristic of Swansea’s oil paintings is how they absorb non-painterly forms of representation, like movies, photographs, videos, and the cinema, even x-ray images.

Swansea has had over a dozen solo exhibits since 2000; her most recent one-person exhibit was in Seoul, South Korea. Deichtorhallen Hamburg organized a two-person survey of Swansea and Robert Lucander in 2011. In 2008, her first museum survey was held at the Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg. Swansea’s first solo show at Locks Gallery was in 2002, and she has been included in the group exhibitions The Tipping Point, Water is Best, and New Light.

Click here to download a PDF press release.

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