Ricky Swallow
500 Words on ARTFORUM

"And there’s been a weird sort of liberation in that––the fact that they are made, composed, and created by someone else and then collected and recast by me."

Field cup (turquoise) 2010 patinated bronze

"COLLECTING OBJECTS––such as modern ceramics, Native American pottery, baskets, and Inuit carvings––and arranging them in different rooms in our home has, for some time, run parallel to my art practice. For this show, I wanted to capture that sense of vitality––how collecting has affected my studio logic and the forms of the pieces themselves. There’s a quote I like by Ken Price where he talks about working with the cup as a form, and the ways in which it presents formal restrictions that create a structure to work within. He also speaks about the objects’ universal quality, how the cup can exist as its own subject matter. That really articulated and echoed some of the concerns I had when I began constructing the vessels, bottles, bowls, cups, and jugs that the other sculptures in this show evolved from. There’s a collective ownership and understanding that one brings to such recognizable forms.

I’ve also been thinking about the individual and handmade aspects of my work. This has led to a concern for the pacing of each exhibition. When I was planning this show, I knew that I didn’t want there to be much in the viewer’s peripheral vision. It needed to have the kind of breathing room that is there when I actually make each sculpture, even though in the studio environment everything looks kind of crazy and cramped. In the gallery there is that space––that ratio of intimacy of construction and experience that is important to me."

- Ricky Swallow

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