October 7 – November 13, 2010
Opening reception: Thursday, October 7, 6-8pm
Curated by Gabriele Evertz with the assistance of Teri Lehner, Jenny Liu, and Rachel Stokoe
Visual Sensations: The Paintings of Robert Swain: 1967 – 2010 is the first major New York survey of work by Hunter College Professor of Art Robert Swain. Swain has been a professor at Hunter College since 1968 and is one of the most significant color field painters of his generation. Over the last 45-years, his investigation into the effects and sensations of color in abstract painting has considerably impacted students, artists and color theorists alike. Swain’s work moves the viewer to not just see color, but also to think and experience it. As Swain states: “Color is a form of energy derived from the electromagnetic spectrum that stimulates our perceptual processes and is instrumental in conveying emotions.” This exhibition spans the entirety of the artist’s career and features more than fifty large-scale paintings—many of them mural size—in addition to architectural models, and video interviews.
While Swain’s work has been exhibited and collected widely, Visual Sensations is the artist’s first solo retrospective in New York and his first major exhibition in several years. Through this show, the range of vision, contribution and significance of this exceptional artist is fully revealed.
Joachim Pissarro, Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Galleries, notes: “The Neo-Impressionist resolution launched by Seurat and Signac 115 years ago has held a long lasting impact throughout the 20th Century. Robert Swain’s quivering and palpitating paintings embody the powerful reverberations of this chromatic revolution—in which color—color alone—acts as the principal protagonist in the pictorial arena. Swain’s large works test how we feel color can hold the pictorial stage on its own.”