M.Y. ART PROSPECTS is pleased to present Minnesota Miracle, a solo exhibition featuring new paintings by Carolyn Swiszcz, from April 16 through May 23. Opening reception will be held on April 16, from 6-8pm.
For Swiszcz, whether banal or celebrated, public sites are highly personal terrain. “These are paintings of places in and around the city where I live, West St. Paul, Minnesota. About 20,000 people live here; it’s a suburb of Minnesota’s capital, St. Paul. Like any city, it has beauty and ugliness. Through making art, I have found a way of getting pleasure from ugly things that formerly brought me down.” Indeed, for viewers, Minnesota Miracle is like a very personal visitor’s guide complete with a ”Welcome to West St. Paul” signpost, a local church to pray in, a park to stroll through, a steak house that should not be missed, and miracle of miracles, the heroic headquarter buildings of 3M with its red logo glowing against the blue Sky.
Seasonal references give Minnesota Miracle a sensitive touch. Tire tracks on frozen roads, a snow-covered lawn in the backyard of a restaurant, the poor visibility in arctic air, all these images convey the difficulty of life in a place where winter prevails almost half a year long. In Swiszcz’s work, humans are absent, but the choice of the objects themselves displays the effect of human interaction with the environment. Swiszcz is not an idealistic urban dweller but a survivor who has learned to turn struggle into joy and find beauty in ugliness. Acclaimed for her tableaux, Swiszcz’s method is far more complicated than it looks. She draws, paints, and collages, often combining several print-making techniques (monotype, rubber stamp, screen print among others). It is the combination of this craft with her fresh look at seemingly familiar images that makes Swiszcz’s work original and compelling.
Carolyn Swiszcz attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design where she earned a BFA in 1994. Since 2000, her work has been the subject of numerous gallery and museum shows in Washington D.C., New York, Chicago, Miami, Boston, Fargo, Twin Cities, MN, and Tokyo, Japan. Her work has also been exhibited at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Drawing Center in New York. Her work is represented in the Microsoft Art Collection and at the Minnesota Historical Society, and was featured in Art In America, Boston Globe, New American Paintings, NY Arts and other publications.