Josée Bienvenu Gallery is very pleased to present Julianne Swartz’ fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition draws from two recent bodies of work: Bone Scores (2016) and Void Weaves (2017). In these, Swartz crafts traditional materials, electrical currents and sound-waves into disquieting, disarming sculptures that embody invisible presence and tangible absence.
Each Bone Score transmutes sound to be visual and tactile. Sculptures made of wire, paper, ceramic, and magnets act as functional “speakers” that translate a score of sounds to vibration and gesture. The energy of sound is dispersed through both aurality and action. Movements in the sculptures have an uncanny familiarity as they demonstrate the attack and release of both recognizable and uncommon sounds. Material trembles and palpitates in uncertainty, actualizing restlessness and unease.
The Void Weave sculptures are containers, cavities and pouches, woven and spun from steel and electrical wire. Some of the wire is impossibly thin, like hair. Each vessel uses a different weave, dialect and behavior to hold form. They are unguarded and soft. Some of the Void Weaves carry electrical current, producing shudders and vibrations through the wires. Tenuous lines delineate and hold space. Emptiness becomes substance.
Taken together, the works engage a palpable vulnerability: the tenderness of bodies, the fragility of form, and the susceptibility of matter to the intangible.
Born in Phoenix, AZ, Julianne Swartz lives and works in Stone Ridge, New York. Swartz’ work is currently featured in a large scale installation in Sonic Arcade: Shaping Space with Sound at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City through February 25, 2018; and Resonant Spaces at the Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, NH through December 10, 2017. Ongoing installations include: In Harmonicity, the Tonal Walkway, at MASS MoCA, MA; Blue Sky with Rainbow, at the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, AU; and Terrain, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN.
Past exhibitions include a traveling mid-career survey, How Deep is Your, the deCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA (2012), Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, AZ (2013), and Indianapolis Museum of Art, IN (2014). Explode Everyday: An Inquiry into the Phenomena of Wonder, MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA (2016); Terrain, De Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, NL (2013); Digital Empathy, The Highline, New York (2011); The Sound of Light, The Jewish Museum, New York (2009); Voice and Void, Aldrich Museum, Ridgefield, CT (2007); the Liverpool Biennial, Tate Museum, UK (2006); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (2004). Swartz was the recipient of the Anonymous was a Woman Award in 2015.