MoMA PS1, Long Island City

MoMA PS1 | 22-25 Jackson Ave. at 46 Ave., Queens
NY 11101 Long Island City

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press release

(Long Island City, New York – December 28, 2005) P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, a MoMA affiliate, presents an exhibition of the sculptor Ricky Swallow, the representative of the Australian pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale. Several works from the Biennale exhibition will be on view at P.S.1, including his seminal piece Killing Time. This is the first survey of Swallow’s work in a U.S. museum. Ricky Swallow will be on view from January 19, 2006 through March 20, 2006.

Renowned for their footing in personal memory and pop iconography, Swallow’s wood sculptures and carvings bridge the gap between monumentality and the everyday; tradition and disposability. His work focuses on themes at the heart of this exercise: the passage of time, immortality and mortality, evolution and survival.

For many of Swallow’s works, there exists a generous dose of surrealist wit. This is evident in a 2004 piece entitled The Arrangement, where snakes slither in and out of a mundane bike helmet. The sculpture is brought alive by the dramatic curvature of the snakes’ movements, projecting out of different directions and taking the helmet either as hostage or an unlikely habitat. Growing Pains (Contingency for Beginners), a work from 2002, features a disembodied pair of hands (Swallow’s), mysteriously extending from the wall. The right hand cups the left, while the left palm holds a cluster of what appear to be pills or beans.


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Ricky Swallow
kuratiert von Klaus Biesenbach