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Liz Sweibel
Liz Sweibel, Untitled (Scrapings #2), 2016, Wood, Paint, Found Objects

2016

$375

About

The freestanding sculptures in this portfolio are made from the “sticks”: a pile of found wood that Sweibel has been pulling from to make new works since about 2002. The pile consisted of more than a dozen four- to seven-foot lengths of hardwood, each an uneven inch in depth and width. The sticks were warped, with worn yellow paint on one side and raw wood on the other three. Over the years she has painted the raw sides of the sticks, cut the wood into shorter lengths, and sliced paint off – and kept the residue from these actions. Sweibel has also made sculptures ranging from full-length sticks to tiny stick splinters. She built these sculptures using sliced-off paint. Timeworn materials and objects have an intelligence that the artist looks for and listens to. Shaping and reshaping material to find new form and elicit new insights in the material itself is the territory she is mining. The limitations of the process are its strengths. Her work is concerned with fragility, precariousness, adaptability, and strength. It is a visual response to powerful yet unseen forces - like wind and thoughts - that threaten, propel, ruin, and protect. Liz Sweibel is a multidisciplinary artist working in drawing, sculpture, installation, and digital photography and video. Her spare, personal language of abstraction transforms ordinary materials into statements about connectedness and responsibility: every action has an impact, the effects persist in space and over time, and we are accountable. By drawing attention to simple, ordinary “stuff of life” and referencing both shared and personal history, Sweibel’s work explores and reflects back fundamental experiences in response to our world and relationships. Her intention is to reinvigorate viewers’ awareness of the everyday – in its raw beauty and precariousness – in hopes that they might bring heightened senses of sight and care to their daily lives. Sweibel has participated in solo, two-person, and group exhibits in New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Connecticut, Michigan, and Tennessee since 1998. In 2016, Sweibel’s work was in the group shows Lightly Structured at Sculpture Space NYC, Precarious Constructs at the Venus Knitting Art Space in Brooklyn, and Appropriation and Such at 337 Project Space in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her work is in The Drawing Center’s Viewing Program and has been presented in a number of online venues, including cover art for the spring 2017 issue of Waxwing literary journal. Sweibel’s work has been recognized and financially supported by the Massacusetts Cultural Council, Vermont Studio Center, Maine College of Art, NURTUREart, and Albert Murray Educational Fund. Art New England, the Boston Globe, Bushwick Daily, and other publications online and off have written of her work and exhibits. Sweibel received her BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and her MFA from Maine College of Art. She also holds a BA in English and an MA in Counseling. She lives and works in Brooklyn.

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