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b. 1974, Australia

Ricky Swallow Biography

Ricky Swallow is Australia’s best-known contemporary sculptor with his work held in international collections and the artist representing Australia at the Venice Biennale in 2005. 

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His practice draws from American popular culture but is equally layered in allegories that reference high European art, considering the transitory nature of existence.  Swallow attended the Victorian College of Arts, Melbourne (1993-1997), and following his graduation established a reputation for his meticulously crafted sculptures. 

Swallow lived in England (2003-2006) and has been resident in Los Angeles since 2006. His skill as a sculptor has been described as almost obsessive, but has ensured his work draws attention to the beauty and preciousness of the most humble of forms and seemingly shallowest of images, encouraging a complexity of responses.  For example, his sculpture, Rooftop Shoot Out with Chimpanzee (1999), included a modestly scaled skyscraper from a seemingly fictitious late night television show that locates the viewer as the ‘eye of God,’ inviting consideration of the distancing of humanity from nature. 

Swallow’s work is held in the collection of Museum of Modern Art, New York and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. 

Ricky Swallow Featured Artworks

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Standing Form (hooped) by Ricky Swallow contemporary artwork sculpture
Ricky SwallowStanding Form (hooped), 2019Patinated bronze and oil paint
36.2 x 44.5 x 12.7 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Corner Form with Rope (Pulled Star) by Ricky Swallow contemporary artwork mixed media
Ricky SwallowCorner Form with Rope (Pulled Star), 2019Bronze and oil paint
101.6 x 67.9 x 48.3 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Corner Form with Rope by Ricky Swallow contemporary artwork sculpture
Ricky SwallowCorner Form with Rope, 2019Bronze and oil paint
128.3 x 49.2 x 27.6 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Standing Form with Arches #1 by Ricky Swallow contemporary artwork sculpture
Ricky SwallowStanding Form with Arches #1, 2019Bronze and oil paint
28.9 x 52.1 x 18.4 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Cap #2 by Ricky Swallow contemporary artwork sculpture
Ricky SwallowCap #2, 2018Patinated bronze
10.8 x 10.5 x 5.4 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
(0) by Ricky Swallow contemporary artwork sculpture
Ricky Swallow(0), 2016–2018Bronze and oil paint
114.3 x 73.7 x 15.9 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Floor Sculpture with Pegs #2 by Ricky Swallow contemporary artwork sculpture
Ricky SwallowFloor Sculpture with Pegs #2, 2018Patinated bronze
10.2 x 102.2 x 105.4 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery
Floor Sculpture with Pegs #1 by Ricky Swallow contemporary artwork sculpture
Ricky SwallowFloor Sculpture with Pegs #1, 2018Patinated bronze
9.5 x 202.6 x 86.4 cm
David Kordansky Gallery Contact Gallery

Ricky Swallow Recent Exhibitions

Ricky Swallow Represented By

Ricky Swallow In Related Press

Beer with a Painter, LA Edition: Lesley Vance Related Press Beer with a Painter, LA Edition: Lesley Vance 26 September 2017, Hyperallergic

'We are drinking beer, right? Because I'm celebrating,' Lesley Vance says to me when I arrive at her house in the Laurel Canyon neighborhood of Los Angeles. It is a Sunday afternoon and she is relieve

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Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s a trippy exercise in nostalgia Related Press Every Brilliant Eye: Australian Art of the 1990s a trippy exercise in nostalgia 1 June 2017, The Sydney Morning Herald

'Just as museums of Europe must now be littered with Neo-Expressionist "monstrosities", so too might there be in ten years' time a little patch of Grunge, fouling up the air in the back lots of public

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Hotel Windsor to become a contemporary art hub for Spring 1883 Related Press Hotel Windsor to become a contemporary art hub for Spring 1883 14 August 2016, The Weekly Review

A sculpture in the bathtub, a horse on the couch and a disco in the loo are just some of the ways artworks have been exhibited at what is emerging as Melbourne’s most exciting art fair. The Hotel Windsor is, once again, about to be transformed by SPRING 1883, a high-end contemporary art show to be held as part of Melbourne’s Art...

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Ricky Swallow'S Whitney/Hammer Double Related Press Ricky Swallow'S Whitney/Hammer Double 26 February 2014, Nicholas Forrest for Artinfo / 25 February 2014

Los Angeles-based Australian sculptor Ricky Swallow has been announced as one of the artists chosen to participate in the 2014 edition of the Los Angeles Hammer Museum’s biennial exhibition “Made in L.A.,” making him one of two artists chosen to exhibit at both the 2014 Whitney Biennial and “Made in L.A.” – the...

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