london

Ricky Swallow, Make-Do Suite, 2010, patinated bronze, wooden table, 52 3/8 x 96 1/2 x 24 1/8".

Ricky Swallow

Stuart Shave/Modern Art | 6 Fitzroy Square

Ricky Swallow, Make-Do Suite, 2010, patinated bronze, wooden table, 52 3/8 x 96 1/2 x 24 1/8".

Ricky Swallow, who represented Australia at the 2005 Venice Biennale, is best known for painstakingly carved wooden sculptures that update the vanitas tradition with imagery such as serpents slithering through a bike helmet, a skull sinking into a beanbag, and a lone bird nesting in a sneaker. Although at thirty-six he is still relatively young, the success of these works has, to a large extent, typecast him. So it was striking that in his recent exhibition in London there wasn’t a piece of carved wood in sight. What initially seemed a radical departure, however, turned out to be pure Swallow—just a little older, and maybe wiser too.

This exhibition was made up of bronze casts of battered and torn cardboard archery targets that Swallow had collected from a practice range in Los Angeles. As one would expect from this artist, verisimilitude was king, with every fold and piercing

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