Ian Swanson at ASHES/ASHES

Swanson_15904

Artist: Ian Swanson

Exhibition title: feels like feels

Venue: ASHES/ASHES, Los Angeles, US

Date: January 23 – March 5, 2016

Photography: images copyright and courtesy the artist and ASHES/ASHES, Los Angeles

ASHES/ASHES is pleased to present feels like feels, the first Los Angeles solo exhibition by New York–based artist Ian Swanson. The exhibition will be on view January 23–March 5, 2016, with an opening reception on Saturday, January 23, from 6–9pm.

Swanson’s recent paintings approach portraiture by way of abstraction. Rather than coaxing the abstract out of figuration, a tendency in recent bodily abstraction, these take a murkier tack. In his ongoing series Aging (2014–2016), there is no discrete composition, no mark-making as brushed, drawn, or scratched. The lack of bristle or prod suggests an aerosol or stylus, a bypassing of the brush as an extension of the hand, directing us towards the ethereal. An uncertainty sets in as to how the paintings’ surface scars of crusted graphite, mica, and pumice were formed—their place in geologic time also indeterminable. A suite of portraits on black felt also alludes to the passage of time, the cycle between sunset and sunrise, again reaffirming our place in corporeal reality — from a single night to an æon.

Upon entering the gallery, the viewer is confronted with Online Taxes, Inc. (2014), a heavy steel adjustable door-jammer emblazoned with the titular corporation’s name, implying a possible prize giveaway from a bottom-rate internet company. Nearby, the ambiguity as to whether the figure in An Approach (2015) haunts or consoles the foreground figure is echoed by nearby sculptures, each of which relies on a similar rebranding, and the questionable generosity they bring to mind.

Swanson’s paintings are staunchly monochromatic: black, grey, and white. Primary color accents — red, blue, yellow — and the corresponding negative of the image float to the surface and recede below the skin of the painting’s image. This lack of subjective decision-making establishes a narrow scope of control: Here is the hue, here is the accent, here is the feel. Summoning proto-Expressionists and contemporary artists alike, they provide a nuanced chain of continuity between current and past inflections of the human condition as expressed through painting.

Ian Swanson was born in Detroit, MI. He received his BFA from Wayne State University in Detroit and his MFA from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. Recent solo and collaborative exhibitions include /recent works at Simone DeSousa, Detroit (2012); studios pretty much an office rn at Welcome Screen, London (2013); ego drift at WAKE, Detroit (2014); or or and at Free Paarking, St. Louis (2014); Vital Shift in Central Observer at Bosi, New York (2015); and a native fear…a featureless protagonist at D’Agostino & Fiore, New York (2015). He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

feels like feels also marks the inauguration of the ASHES/ASHES outdoor project space LA/DW~PS. The running theme across artists’ projects will be that of xerophobia. Ian Swanson and Wendy Ross initiate the program with Raft (2016), a collaborative work comprised of two identical pairs of rebranded, DIY rain barrels.

Tony Hope’s permanent installation Untitled (Dawn) (2015) remains on view in the gallery’s bathroom.

Ashes-2016-01-25_001

Ashes-2016-01-25_002

Ashes-2016-01-25_003

Ashes-2016-01-25_004

Ashes-2016-01-25_005

Ashes-2016-01-25_006

Ashes-2016-01-25_007

Ashes-2016-01-25_008

Ashes-2016-01-25_009

Ashes-2016-01-25_010

Ashes-2016-01-25_011

Ashes-2016-01-25_012

Ashes-2016-01-25_013

Ashes-2016-01-25_014

Ashes-2016-01-25_015

Ashes-2016-01-25_016

Ashes-2016-01-25_017

Ashes-2016-01-25_018

Ashes-2016-01-25_019

Swanson_15904

Ian Swanson, Online Taxes, Inc., 2014

Swanson_15869

Ian Swanson, An Approach, 2015

Swanson_15940

Ian Swanson, Untitled, 2016

Swanson_15877

Ian Swanson, Aging10, 2015

Swanson_15879

Ian Swanson, Aging9, 2015

Swanson_15884

Ian Swanson, Aging4, 2015

Swanson_15885

Ian Swanson, Aging5, 2015

Swanson_15886

Ian Swanson, Aging6, 2015

Swanson_15887

Ian Swanson, Aging8, 2015

Swanson_15903

Ian Swanson, retireforthefunofit.com, 2015

Swanson_15865

Ian Swanson, Black Bonnet, 2015

Swanson_15863

Ian Swanson, Blue Night, 2016

Swanson_15864

Ian Swanson, Red Dusk, 2016

Swanson_15862

Ian Swanson, Yellow Dawn, 2016

Swanson_15891

Ian Swanson, Untitled (Purple Rag), 2015

Related Post

Leave a Comment