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Fruitmarket Gallery presents Tony Swain. Drowned Dust, Sudden Word

The Fruitmarket Gallery presents Tony Swain. Drowned Dust, Sudden Word, on view 19 April–8 July 2012.

Tony Swain, “Idle as totems,” 2012. Acrylic on newspaper. Courtesy of The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow.

Tony Swain was born in Ireland in 1967, trained at Liverpool School of Art and Glasgow School of Art, and lives and works in Glasgow. He is known for paintings depicting complex private worlds painted over newspaper pages, the newspaper providing both the physical ground and the conceptual starting point of each painting.

Swain paints landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes, and interiors. His paintings are frequented and constructed by mountains, sand dunes, meadows, trees, rocks, lighthouses, power stations, landmarks both natural and man-made, boats, bridges, buildings, houses, furniture, and domestic objects. His imagery is often on a vast scale, encompassing huge vistas, but also collapses into intimacy. The marks he makes most usually organise themselves into representation, but sometimes remain as passages of painterly abstraction.

Swain’s work speaks to a number of different traditions, and newspaper has an important place in the history of art, most notably in early-twentieth-century collage. For Swain, using newspaper as a support is both a practical and conceptual choice—he is aware of its history, but reaches for newspaper partly because it is readily at hand, and partly because he is interested to see if he can make lasting and meaningful imagery on something so commonly associated with the throwaway detritus of everyday life. Tony Swain’s preferred method in making solo exhibitions is to show only work made in the period since his previous exhibition, so this exhibition presents entirely new work, made with The Fruitmarket Gallery in mind.

Tony Swain is represented by The Modern Institute, Glasgow and Herald St, London.

Fruitmarket Gallery
45 Market Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1DF
Open seven days. Always free.
Hours: Mon–Sat 11am–6pm
Sun 12–5pm

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