new-york

Marc Swanson

Bellwether

Marc Swanson is not a colorist. Like his contemporary Terence Koh, Swanson prefers the absoluteness of white and black when crafting his sylvan-themed sculptures and strange mixed-media panels. When he does dabble with nonabsolutes, he does so with reticence, employing natural, lower-luminance hues: gold, the sepia of faded celluloid, or the amber blond of shellac. When he wants impact, he uses texture, making his work shimmer, sparkle, or reflect. Like other young artists (David Altmejd, Cristina Lei Rodriguez, and Kristian Kozul, to name a few), Swanson borrows from the tool kit of kitsch, arriving at something a bit outside that term’s stubborn connotations.

So the muted, pale blue-gray in 88, 2006– 2008—a dolorous, Joseph Cornell–inspired box assemblage in the front room of “The Saint at Large,” Swanson’s fourth solo exhibition at Bellwether—marked something of a shift, however

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