Born 1974 in San Remo, Australia
Lives and Works in Los Angeles, CA
“Bronze,” Ricky Swallow has said, “is a kind of beautiful alchemical wizardry.” His cast-bronze sculptures press this durable and refined material into service to lend permanence to ephemeral and humble objects—constructions the artist makes primarily of cardboard. In turn, these constructions often reference domestic forms, such as pottery, chair backs, and guitars, as well as elements from architecture and decorative arts. The found cardboard that he uses shows signs of wear and of his provisional methods of construction, courting an appearance of casual composition that is contradicted by the experimentation and craft invested in his sculpture practice. Alluding to ceramic glazes or the surface of plaster or pewter, the patinas of Swallow’s bronzes become intrinsic to the objects’ materiality while making them materially ambiguous. His sculptures are the “preserved gestures” of everyday objects, re-presented so that new formal characteristics and aesthetic qualities can be made visible.
Ricky Swallow’s work is on view in the Museum’s fourth floor galleries.