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Ricky Swallow & Erick Swenson

Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA)


01 Aug 2001 to 11 Nov 2001

Curator: Rachel Kent

About the exhibition

Ricky Swallow & Erick Swenson was the first in a series of exhibitions which sought to position the work of an Australian artist alongside that of an international peer. This show highlighted works which had been recently created by the two sculptors. Based in Dallas, Texas, this was Swenson’s first exhibition in Australia.

Swallow and Swenson share common ground in their approach to art. Meticulously crafted and finished, with a minute attention to detail, their works bear a classical sensibility that can be linked to the tradition of model-making. From Swallow’s intricately sculpted miniatures to Swenson’s life-size tableaux featuring imagined animals, these works are painstakingly created using a range of everyday and synthetic materials, and found objects. A shared interest in popular cinema informs the works, from Planet of the Apes and ET (Swallow) to special effects and animatronics (Swenson). They evoke a sense of wonder: at the perfection of their finish, despite laborious manual construction; and at the strange, haunting beauty of their imagined worlds. Swallow’s models for communication in time and space, and Swenson’s animalistic oneirism, are the product of fact, fiction and fantasy intertwined.

This exhibition was part of the New South Wales Centenary of Federation endorsement program.

This project was made possible by the generous support of MCA Ambassadors.