Ena Swansea

United States 1966


Ena Swansea
Ena Swansea
United States
February 2, 2015
Music, Gestalt, .

Ena Swansea is a famous American visual artist. She works primarily in oil paint on a graphite foundation, often painting brightly colored figures on a dark iridescent background. Swansea draws heavily from her southern roots, including the story of her ancestor Southern Baptist preacher Thomas Dixon.

She was born and raised in Charlotte in North Carolina. Swansea obtained a major in film at the University of South Florida. In 2008, her first museum survey was held at the Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg. Swansea’s first solo show at Locks Gallery was in 2002 and she has been included in group exhibitions The Tipping Point, New Light, and Water is Best.

Working primarily in oils on a graphite ground, Swansea allows her material choices to imbue her subject matter with a sensation of the uncanny. Using the world around her as source material, the scenes she depicts demonstrate her sensitive observation of light and distinctly cinematic perspective. Her subjects are simultaneously eternal in their presence and ephemeral in their representation; the metallic ground transforms the pieces as they catch the light in different ways. In 2010, Swansea conceived and created a memorable art installation in the floor of the ancient Roman arena of Arles—a sand painting measuring 150 x 300 feet. She was the first American artist selected to create a “Goyesque” for the arena.

The artist’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Cornell University’s Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Galerie Neue Meister/Albertinum Dresden, and Deichtorhallen, Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg. She is the recipient of a Hassam, Speicher, Betts and Symons Purchase Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Swansea currently lives and works in New York.

Year Exhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2015Sight Unseen: Ellen Harvey and Ena Swansea Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PASolo
2014Untitled Nightlife Friedman Benda, New York, NYGroup
2013Fugitive Scenes Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2013The Delight of Painting, 313 Art Project, Seoul, South KoreaGroup
2013Manifesto FIAF Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2013And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music Friedman Benda Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2011Psycho Deichtorhallen Hamburg,Sammlung Falckenberg, Hamburg, GermanyGroup
2011Ena Swansea organized by ARNDT Berlin, New York, NYGroup
2011Printer’s Proof Bertrand Delacroix Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2011Art2 The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NYSolo
2010Corrida Goyesque temporary sand painting at Arena d’Arles, Arles, FranceGroup
2010Armory Show ARNDT booth, New York, NYGroup
2010New Light Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PASolo
2010Changing the World ARNDT, Berlin, GermanySolo
2010From the Beginning 313 Art Project, Seoul, South KoreaSolo
2009Water is Best Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PASolo
2009Naked Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2008UntitledArndt & Partner, Zurich, SwitzerlandGroup
2008Ena Swansea 2002–2008 Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean (MUDAM), LuxembourgGroup
2008UntitledAndré Schlechtriem, New York, NYGroup
2007UntitledAndré Schlechtriem Temporary Inc., New York, NYGroup
2007True Romance: Allegories of Love from the Renaissance to the Present Kunsthalle Wien,Vienna, Austria. Traveled to: Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, GermanySolo
2007Untitledder Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany.Solo
2007Das deutungsreiche Spiel – Der Symbolismus und die Kunst der Gegenwart, Von der Heydt Swansea CV page 2Museum, Wuppertal, GermanySolo
2007Zurück zur Figur Kunsthal Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsSolo
2006Armory Show Galerie Crone booth, New York, NYGroup
2006The Triumph of Painting - Part 3 The Saatchi Gallery, London, UKSolo
2006Zurück zur Figur Malerei der Gegenwart Kunsthalle der HypoKulturstiftung, München,GermanySolo
2006WoMA André Schlechtriem Temporary Inc., New York, NYSolo
2006New Work Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NYSolo
2006Big Pictures Small Pictures White Sculpture The Cartin Collection, Hartford, CTSolo
2006Figuring the Landscape, Contemporary Art Galleries University of Connecticut, Storrs, CTSolo
2005UntitledGalerie Crone,Andreas Osarek, Berlin, GermanyGroup
2005Goetz Meets Falkenberg Sammlung Falkenberg, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2005Flower Power Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NYSolo
2005Greater New York 2005, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NYSolo
2005Story-Tellers Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2005Slices of Life: Blueprints of the Self in Painting Austrian Cultural Forum, New York, NYSolo
2004situation Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NYGroup
2004x rays Mario Diacono Gallery at Ars Libri, Boston, MAGroup
2004Central Station: La Collection Harald Falckenberg La Maison Rouge, Paris, FranceSolo
2004Portraits Esso Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2003UntitledKlemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert, Inc., New York, NYGroup
2003After Matisse Picasso P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NYSolo
2002The Reality of Shadows Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PAGroup
2001The Tipping Point Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PASolo
2001Invitational Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture American Academy of Arts and Letters,New York, NYSolo
2000Abstraction Robert Kidd Gallery, Birmingham, MISolo
2000Gardens of Pleasure John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WISolo
1998UntitledRobert Miller Gallery, New York, NYGroup
1998Equilibrium of the Senses Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NYSolo
1997UntitledDorothy Blau Gallery, Bay Harbor Islands, FLGroup
1997Drawings and Paintings Wooster Gardens, New York, NYSolo
1996Scratch Thread Waxing Space, New York, NY Solo