To celebrate the 5th Anniversary of LVA’s Art [squared] Event to Benefit Children’s Fine Art Classes, we will feature five local artists who are contributing 24” x 24” paintings to be sold at the event through a Silent Auction. Today we feature Chuck Swanson:
Swanson is an artist, primarily a painter, but he is also one of the pioneer gallerists in Louisville, having opened a gallery on Bardstown Road in 1982 and then in 1998 on East Market Street in what would eventually become the celebrated NuLu neighborhood. For the record, Swanson opened the space near Market and Clay well ahead of the rechristening of the area, so he must be counted as one of the reasons why the once-neglected and depressed environs became a hot spot for redevelopment.
As a painter, his images have often been landscapes, but not with the typical detail and texture for flora and fauna that are found in a wide range of such compositions. Swanson’s scenes are elementally observed, deconstructing the form to its basic structure and realizing the point-of-view with saturated color under layers of translucent medium.
The composition is almost always a body of water moving away from the viewer and dividing two landmasses as it approaches the horizon. While the tone is placid enough, there is also a tension that results from the opposite shores never touching, forever separated.
Swanson’s more recent work positions these images in relationship to abstract color fields, but even there we can find that same dynamic in the juxtaposition of acrylic painted panels either echoing the tension of two forms in opposition on a horizontal plane.
As a gallery owner, Swanson is credited with helping develop the early careers of artists such as Russel Hulsey, who calls Swanson, “extremely progressive and forward thinking”, and being among the first to include electronic media and musical performances He has served on the board of the East Downtown Business Association, Louisville Visual Art, and has been vice president of both the defunct Artswatch and LOOK, a Louisville area consortium of art galleries.
Hometown: Wausau, Wisconsin
Education: BA, Social Studies, University of Kentucky
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.