Visitors to the Dallas Art Fair last week got a preview of sorts for a new exhibit at the Nasher Sculpture Center. A small version of a larger work on display at the Nasher by Dallas-based artist Erick Swenson was offered for sale at the fair by Talley Dunn Gallery.
The work depicting snails surrounding a Bavarian beer stein is included in Sightings: Erick Swenson.
“Sculptural feats of verism and imagination, Erick Swenson’s works are haunting, beautiful, and surprising; testaments to the most painstaking dedication to process,” notes Nasher Sculpture Center director Jeremy Strick. “While this internationally known artist has lived and worked in Dallas since the late 1990s, Sightings: Erick Swenson will be his first museum show in this community, a point of particular pride for the Nasher.”
Erick Swenson has received national and international acclaim for his sculptures. Rendered with a naturalist’s sensitivity and incredible precision, the works often present fantastic vignettes of animals ensnared in strange, sometimes devastating circumstances, or quietly poetic scenes that evoke the beauty and tragedy of nature, as well as our own human condition.
Indeed a look at the work shows incredible patience and attention to detail. Everything in this work appears as it mught be a “found object,” yet nothing is. Each snail has been created, as well as the beer stein. The base is included as part of the artwork, and a look into the annals of the drinking glass show a bottomless pit.
A graduate of the University of North Texas and member of the Good/Bad Art Collective in Denton, Swenson first gained international attention when his work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. His sculptures now grace the collections of the Whitney, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Saatchi Collection in London.