Modern Art presents ‘4’, an exhibition of new sculpture by Ricky Swallow. This is the artist’s fourth solo show with the gallery.
For the exhibition, Swallow has made a new group of wall and plinth-based sculptures in patinated bronze. The pieces are cast from assemblages created with materials such as rattan, milled wood and cardboard, exploring the grand possibilities of the most ordinary of materials.
Swallow’s elemental sculptures contain combinations of references and form within one body of work, from the fluid more organic compositions cast from twisted rattan, which allow gravity to influence their own designs, to the nuanced industrial and geometric forms that punctuate the gallery. In Swallow’s sculpture, space is a frame for the work.
Several pieces in the exhibition have been conceived in direct response to the architecture of Modern Art’s gallery at Helmet Row. ‘Triple Zero with Rope’ are two sculptures that will be installed with a direct relationship to the diagonal sawtooth roof of the gallery, whilst another work ‘Scribe Sculpture #1’ (2017), is cast from a transcribed piece of wood taken from the artist’s house, which similarly repeats this staggered diagonal pattern. In other works, Swallow contributes forms implying a structural behaviour (works span corners, model repeated axis etc.) which seem in dialogue with the industrial quality of the gallery space.
One further point, something common to most improvised music, is that different constituents do not have obvious hierarchical values. Anything which can be considered a decoration, for instance, is not in some way subservient to that which it decorates. The most powerful expression of the identity of a piece might be in the smallest details.
– Derek Bailey writing on Raga music in Improvisation (1980)
Ricky Swallow lives and works in Los Angeles, California, USA. He was born in San Remo, Victoria, Australia in 1974. In 2005 Swallow represented Australia at the 51st Venice Biennale. Recent exhibitions include Skews at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2015); Ricky Swallow and Lesley Vance, The Huntington, San Marino, CA, USA (2012); Ricky Swallow: The Bricoleur, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (2009); The Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2007); Younger than Yesterday, Kunsthalle Vienna, Vienna, Austria (2007); The Past Sure Is Tense, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia (2006); and PS1/MoMA, New York, NY, USA (2006). His work has recently been included in exhibitions at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC, Australia (2011, 2005, 2004); Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, NSW, Australia (2010, 2006); Aspen Art Museum, Aspen, CO, USA (2008, 2007); Yokohama Museum of Art, Yokohama, Japan (2007); Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand (2006); Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, QLD, Australia (2005); and The Institute of Contemporary Art, ICA, Boston, MA, USA (2005). His work has been acquired by several notable museum institutions such as the Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, USA; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, USA and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT, Australia.Ricky Swallow, Zig #4, 2018, patinated bronze and oil paint, 22.9 x 41.9 x 16.5 cm, 9 x 16 1/2 x 6 1/2 ins, copyright the artist, courtesy Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London