Michael Paglia, arts and culture writer for the Denver Westword, refers to Swanson as, “one of the region’s top conceptual artists.”
Read the full article here.
In her article from The Boulder Weekly, Caitlin Rockett writes that Swanson, “makes tangible the intangible, transforming words into physical manifestations, and in the process often dismantles the contemporary power structures words create.”
Read the full article here.
Joel Swanson and Laura Shill
On the occasion of the 57th Venice Biennale
Palazzo Bembo, located off the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy
Presented by Black Cube Nomadic Museum.
Saturday, May 13th – Sunday, November 26th, 2017
Free and open to the public.
David B. Smith Gallery is proud to support artist Joel Swanson in a two person exhibition, Personal Structures, in Venice, Italy, occurring concurrently with the 2017 Venice Biennale. Presented by Black Cube Nomadic Museum and curated by Cortney Lane Stell, Swanson is exhibiting alongside Denver artist Laura Shill, as the two examine the concepts and cultural uptake of gender and language. Personal Structures, located in the historic Palazzo Bembo, recently called “a nimble counterpoint to the more top-heavy parts of Venice’s Biennale” in an article by Terence Trouillout for artnet, marks the debut of Colorado artists in Venice for this renown cultural event.
Have you ever been writing a word and for a brief moment it looks strange? It seems to almost lose its meaning? This happens to me when I write the word “what.” I stare at the word, sound it out, but it just seems foreign. Technically, this phenomenon is known as aphasia, the condition when someone loses the ability to understand language, typically due to some type of brain trauma. There is something so vulnerable and terrifying about losing our primary mode of communication, but it also allows us to see and experience the world without this wrapper of words and language. This is what Paul Valery means when he says, “To see is to forget the name of the thing one sees.” Perhaps my work might induce a brief (and non-violent) moment of aphasia in its viewers; that it might offer a fleeting but significant experience where we see through, or perhaps beyond language, and help us experience the world in a different way. – Joel Swanson, from interview with Stephanie Edwards.
Joel Swanson’s work is included in the collection of Denver’s newly opened Halcyon Hotel in Cherry Creek North. Sincerely is installed in the foyer area of the hotel and can be seen in situ in The Denver Post article featuring the hotel. The full article and slideshow of the hotel’s interior can be seen here.
In August, Swanson also completed a commission for Twitter.
Joel Swanson’s solo exhibition, POLYSEMIC, opens October 10, at the Museum of Outdoor Arts (Englewood, Colorado.) The exhibition will be on view through February 27, 2016. More about the exhibition here.
Ray Mark Rinaldi reviews POLYSEMIC for The Denver Post. Read the review here. Michael Paglia review POLYSEMIC for The Westord. Read the review here.