Cynthia Reeves presents solo exhibitions by Anne Lindberg and Johnny Swing.
In Anne Lindberg’s large-scale works, the artist creates meticulous, abstract drawings as rendered in discrete graphite lines on cotton board. The line’s pitch and modulation plays with one’s field of vision, creating a dynamic flux and a rich array of perceptions. This optical illusion of movement, albeit subtle, results from Lindberg’s variance in line density, alignment and mis-alignment, physical pressure and the drawings’ sheer scale. As one views the work, there is a reverberation, a sense of kineticism, of vertigo and of suspended time and motion. The systematic nature of the work also brings to bare reference to seismographic charts, waveforms, medical imaging and musical notation.
The artist’s interest lies in tapping a “non-verbal place” to provoke emotional, visceral and perceptual responses from her viewers. The immense scale of the drawings overwhelms the viewers’ field of vision, and the lines appear to undulate into three-dimensional space. An extension of Lindberg’s sculptural works, the artist expresses her interest in the optical and spatial phenomenon that develops as the lines span the outer reaches of our peripheral vision. The works also reference the corporeal presence of the artist – her heart rate, respiration and psychological states – so easily transmitted through the body to the tip of the graphite and onto the cotton mat board. Her collective body of work is an iteration of an age-old desire to understand self in place.
Lindberg’s work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States and abroad including the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, The Drawing Center, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art and venues in New Zealand, Quebec and Japan. She has had solo exhibitions at Dolphin Gallery as well as at other venues including Dennos Museum, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery, University of Nebraska, Belger Art Center, and University of Texas.
Lindberg has been the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most notably the Charlotte Street Foundation Award; two ArtsKC Fund Inspiration Grants; and a Mid-America/National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. She was Visiting Artist-in-Residence/Head of Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan in 2005 and taught for nine years at the Kansas City Art Institute. Anne Lindberg received her BFA from Miami University, Oxford, OH in 1985 and her MFA from Cranbrook Academy, Bloomfield Hills, MI in 1988.
Johnny Swing’s newest show presents signature works from two areas of inquiry: functional art objects and fine-art sculpture. The show at CYNTHIA-REEVES coincides with his furniture exhibition at Knoedler & Company.
Swing’s sinuous chaise lounge, which was included in the Museum of Art and Design’s exhibition Second Lives, is the most recent in a series of functional artworks made of materials that hold vastly different functions, an approach that is at the core of this artist’s inquiry. In this instance, the piece is composed of hundreds of quarters, carefully welded together and supported by a stainless steel armature, beautiful in its own right.
“It is repurposing at its best,” commented Kiera Scholten (ARTWORKS Magazine – Fall 2008). “He says he likes to ‘take a worthless thing and make it beautiful.’ In discarded baby food jars, he sees chairs or chandeliers. A wheelbarrow is easily fashioned into a table. Nickels compose a couch. Dollar bills become the fabric for a teddy bear or a pillow.”
The lines of the couch create a sense of movement uncharacteristic for something made of such uncommon, and rigid, material. It comes as no surprise that he is inspired by landscapes, the ocean, the female form. One can see references to all of these in the couch alone. Swing says he likes “forms that are giving, not asking.”
While Swing’s furniture exudes a level of refinement, his sculpture, while equally organic in form, harnesses a raw energy. The most recent sculpture continues manipulating raw steel into magnificently torqued, twisted, and sinuous sculpture. The work’s form effectively references the artist’s forceful actions involved in their production and creation. The highly polished base contrasts beautifully with the sculpture’s fully realized surface patina.
The artist writes, “The process is counterintuitive; they start as ore from the ground, then through modern technology they are processed into construction materials. Then I destroy, alter, fold, and rap them into new forms that contradict their intended purpose; yet, they return to nature with their new organic form. I find the work during the process of building them; then select the parts that are treasures.”
Swing’s work is included in the permanent collections of notable museums and art centers around the world, including Storm King Art Center and the Robert Crowell Museum. His contemporary furniture has been featured at the International Furniture Show at the Javits Center in New York several times; his designs have been included in The Chair, a review of the most innovative design of the past decades. On December 17, 2009 an edition of Johnny Swing’s Nickel Couch, previously featured on the cover of Arts and Antiques Magazine, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s as part of noted collector Robert Isabell’s estate sale.