William Swanson – Bloom Chamber

18 June - 6 August 2016
Eleanor Harwood Gallery is pleased to present Bloom Chamber, a solo exhibition by Bay Area painter, William Swanson. 


In Swanson’s second solo show with Eleanor Harwood Gallery he continues to investigate manipulations of terrain and architecture. His work moves further into abstraction as he allows the pools and puddles of paint and dried cracked surfaces to create the movement and texture. After allowing his intuition and the freedom of gravity to take effect, he is controlling the paint, sanding it down, masking out areas of spillage to create atmospheres and implied landscapes. Swanson uses a variety of painting techniques: pouring, masking, overlaying, thinning and thickening the paint and then sanding. The quality of the surface is refined and exposed under layers that have been revealed through sanding, resulting in an atmospheric surface with both physical texture and illusionary depth.

Shifting from the use of photographic sources to purely imagined landscapes, Swanson’s new paintings move nearer to a world of balance, growth, and controlled chaos. Lush soft blooms of flora shoot up under the rule of lines and hard-edge bands of color. Slices of natural orders of patterning: crystal, mineralogical, and geologic directly mimic the strata found in the terrestrial. Employing the grid and a dense picture plane to build scenes both structured and spare using a lighter palette, these paintings present slowly shifting worlds with an ethereal and dreamlike quality.